The impact of economic recession has reduced pollution in the EU, but this may be a mixed blessing for the environment.
European data shows some industrial sectors’ carbon emissions down at least 30 percent.
The overall EU shrinkage was by some 11 percent.
The EU emissions trading scheme limits the carbon output of some 12,000 factories and power plants, covering 44 percent of EU emissions.
The scheme is designed to corset the 27-nations to meet Kyoto Protocol targets.
Less industrial activity, however, means unused allowances, depressing carbon prices.
This removes an economic incentive to invest in green technologies.
As long as it’s cheaper to buy tonnes of carbon which billow into the atmosphere, carbon capture and storage equipment will stay on the shelf.
But at least one expert saw a greening of European power.
Electricity demand was down 5-6 percent last year but the generating sector’s carbon emissions showed a steeper 8.5 percent drop, underlining a move to zero carbon wind and low-carbon natural gas.