Europe climate neutral, how realistic are the targets?
This month, the member states of the European Union agreed to a new climate target: a 55% reduction in 2030 compared to 1990, to be climate neutral by 2050. The old climate target was 40%. The question is, how realistic is this goal? What is special is that one of the frontrunners in the emission reduction is out of the EU. The United Kingdom was already at 41.8%, while the Netherlands was at 14.9%. The front runners for emission reduction are also mainly the former Warsaw Pact countries and the Scandinavian countries.
The question is, how is the Netherlands actually doing? The Netherlands is a relatively large emitter of greenhouse gases. The EU target for the Netherlands is 36%, while we have now reached 15% since 1990. This represents a major challenge for the next nine years.
If we look in more detail at the figures for the Netherlands, we mainly see a decrease in other greenhouse gases. The CO2 emissions in 2018 have decreased by only a few percent compared to 1990. The biggest hit was made in the waste sector, where greenhouse gas emissions fell by 80%. This was mainly achieved by reducing the emission of the other greenhouse gases.
Denmark is doing well
The example country for the EU is Denmark. They manage to steadily reduce CO2 emissions every year, especially from 2005, when a 27% decrease was achieved. This is mainly due to the high share of renewable energy. 2/3 of this comes from biomass. What we can learn from Denmark in particular is that the use of biomass is an important part of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Because there is a lot of resistance to the import of woody biomass, we at CCS propose to focus on the largest as yet unused biomass source, namely manure. We also contribute to the reduction of methane emissions. Agriculture is responsible for 2/3 of total emissions and manure fermentation can reduce methane emissions from manure by more than 3/4. Two birds with one stone. For more information I refer to our innovation the Bio-Up.
It is a major challenge for the Netherlands to achieve a reduction of almost 20% in greenhouse gases by 2030. 8% of greenhouse gas emissions come from coal-fired power stations. Closing this already yields 40% of the target. If we also focus on more sustainable energy with special attention to mono-manure fermentation, then we should be able to achieve this target.
About this article
21 January 2021 / Author: Dr. Ir. René Cornelissen