Spain’s Kyoto harakiri

LAST UPDATED: 7 Dec, 2009 @ 15:24
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Spain’s Kyoto harakiri

SPAIN will have to cut its emissions by 25 per cent over the next three years if it is to meet its Kyoto targets.

The country has had the least success in cutting back on carbon emissions in the whole EU, according to a new report.

This is despite its recent heavy investment in green technology and the railways.

The reason Spain is lagging so far behind is that during the 1990s the country was allowed to increase its emissions by 15 per cent as the economy was performing so badly.

The only way Spain can now hit its Kyoto target, set in 1990, is by buying up so-called ‘carbon credits’ from countries that have hit their targets. These include France, UK and Germany, who have all hit their Kyoto targets.

They account for around 40 per cent of the total EU emissions and their success means that the continent is on track to meet the protocol’s demands – a drop of eight per cent by 2012.

The reason Spain is lagging so far behind is that during the 1990s the country was allowed to increase its emissions by 15 per cent as the economy was performing so badly.

However, due to the booming economy by the late 1990s the country had increased its emissions by almost 53 per cent.

This continued well into the next decade and for some time Spain was using more concrete and cement than France, Italy and Germany put together.

The so-called tsunami of cement has left the country not only heavily dependent on the construction industry, but it has also left the environment increasingly fragile.

Next month’s Copenhagen Summit will establish how to tackle carbon emissions from 2013, with calls that the EU must cut its emissions by up to 30 per cent. And 95 per cent by 2050.

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