Europe’s CO2 Emissions Keep Rising, Despite $1.2 Trillion In Green Subsidies

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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European Union carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will keep rising in 2015 despite $1.2 trillion in subsidies for wind, solar and other green energy, according to a report published Tuesday by the European Commission.

The report estimates that the EU’s CO2 emissions will increase by 0.7 percent this year relative to 2014, even though the continent has spent an estimated $1.2 trillion financially supporting wind, solar and bio-energy with the goal of lowering CO2 emissions.

“CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming and account for around 80% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions,” according to the European Commission’s report. “Various EU energy efficiency initiatives aim to reduce emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. ”

The biggest increase came from the EU’s capital country of Belgium, where emissions rose by 4.7 percent. Emissions from Germany, the EU’s largest economy, remained flat.

The U.S. spends far less than the EU supporting green energy, but American CO2 emissions are falling thanks to the development of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which the EU has repeatedly slowed with regulations. EU regulations, financial support for green energy and taxes causes the average European to spend 26.9 cents per kilowatt-hour on electricity, according to calculations performed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The average American only spends 10.4 cents.

Denmark and Germany have the highest electrical bills in Europe, paying roughly 39 cents per kilowatt-hour due to intense fiscal support for green energy. Both countries are now reversing course and backing away from green energy.

The rising emissions are likely due to failed EU policies, which actually increased emissions. A study last month by environmental group Transport & Environment (T&E) determined that the EU’s plans to fight global warming with biofuel actually ended up increasing CO2 emissions. On average, biofuel from vegetable oil creates 80 percent more CO2 emissions than the conventional oil it replaces. The report estimates the biofuels create new emissions equivalent to putting an extra 12 million cars on the road.

The EU has been blending small amounts of biofuel into conventional gasoline and diesel, specifically to reduce CO2 emissions, and planned to require biofuels account for 10 percent of all fuel in Europe by 2020. The T&E’s study estimates continued use of biodiesel derived from vegetable oil will increase the EU’s CO2 emissions from transportation by almost 4 percent compared to conventional sources of oil.

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