19 May 2010 05:05:10
Europe carbon emissions dropped over 10% in 2009
Carbon emissions across members of the European Union Emissions trading scheme decreased in 2009 due to the recession.
Figures provided by member states of the EU reveal a year on year drop of 11.6 percent in CO2 emissions.
While this figure was largely in line with expectations, the key reasons for the decrease were said to be economic and driven by the recession.
A decline in economic activity was a major factor, as was the lower price of less carbon intensive gas in 2009, which made it a more attractive prospect than coal. The economic crisis also led to a significant drop in the price of carbon credits.
However, climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard said that within the long term the recession may have a negative impact as finances meant less investment in low carbon strategies and technologies.
"Unfortunately that also means that European business did not invest nearly as much as planned in innovation, which could harm our future ability to compete on promising markets," she explained.
The economics of climate change have already been explored in depth within the Stern Review, which indicates that the cost of climate change will be higher if innovation is slow.
So, was the reduction of carbon emissions due to the recession really