Spain’s carbon emissions fell below 1990 levels for the first time in 2020

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Spain’s carbon emissions fell below 1990 levels last year, helped by more renewable energy, a drop in coal-fired power and an economy slowed by the pandemic, a statement released by the environment ministry said on Thursday.

Carbon emissions fell 13.7% in Spain in 2020 from 2019 levels to 272 million tons, about 6.4% less than in 1990, the statement said.

The amount of electricity generated in the country fell 3.6% in 2020 as a result of the restrictions imposed on businesses to curb the covid-19 contagion.

However carbon emissions fell a full 35% as renewables jumped 13% and coal was partly phased out.

With abundant sunlight, blustery hillsides and vast plains, Spain is transforming its energy system to rely on renewable sources and expects to get its economy carbon neutral by 2050. A national climate plan submitted to Brussels last year foresees coal capacity dwindling to zero by 2030.

Photo: EC Audiovisual Service