Changes in European greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions 1960–2010: decomposition of determining factors

  • Peter Rafaj
  • Markus Amann
  • José Siri
  • Henning Wuester
Chapter

Abstract

This paper analyses factors that contributed to the evolution of SO2, NOx and CO2 emissions in Europe from 1960 to 2010. Historical energy balances, along with population and economic growth data, are used to quantify the impacts of major determinants of changing emission levels, including energy intensity, conversion efficiency, fuel mix, and pollution control. Time series of emission levels are compared for countries in Western and Eastern Europe, throwing light on differences in the importance of particular emissiondriving forces. Three quarters of the decline in SO2 emissions in Western Europe resulted from a combination of reduced energy intensity and improved fuel mix, while dedicated endof- pipe abatement measures played a dominant role in the reduction of NOx emissions. The increase in atmospheric emissions in Eastern Europe through the mid-1990s was associated with the growth of energy-intensive industries, which off-setted the positive impact of better fuel quality and changes in fuel mix. A continuous decrease in energy intensity and higher conversion efficiencies have been the main factors responsible for the moderate rate of growth of European CO2 emissions.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Rafaj
    • 1
  • Markus Amann
    • 1
  • José Siri
    • 1
  • Henning Wuester
    • 2
  1. 1.International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)LaxenburgAustria
  2. 2.United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)BonnGermany

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