EU carbon market emissions fall record 15.5% as renewable power soars

By Susanna Twidale

LONDON (Reuters) -Carbon dioxide emissions regulated under the European Union's emissions trading system (ETS) fell by a record 15.5% in 2023 as renewable power output soared, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

Around 45% of the European Union's output of greenhouse gases is regulated by the EU ETS, which is the 27-nation bloc's flagship scheme to tackle global warming by charging for the right to emit carbon dioxide (CO2).

"Last year’s emissions under the EU’s Emission Trading System (ETS) show the most significant annual emissions reductions since the ETS was launched in 2005," the EU Commission said in a statement.

The largest fall was in the power sector, which saw a 24% drop in emissions compared with 2022 levels.

"This decrease is due to a substantial increase in renewable electricity production (primarily wind and solar), at the expense of both coal and gas," the commission said.

Emissions from industry fell around 7% due to a combination of reduced output and energy efficiency gains.

Following a rebound from a collapse in traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic, emissions from the aviation industry increased by around 10%, the commission said.

(Reporting By Susanna Twidale; Editing by Nina Chestney and Mark Porter)