Greenhouse gas emissions from all operators covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in 2019 reduced overall by 8.7% compared to 2018 levels, the European Commission said on Monday.

“The biggest reduction was achieved in the power sector with a decrease of 15% reflecting decarbonization from coal being replaced by electricity from renewables and gas-fired power production,” the commission said.

While emissions from industry decreased by 2% compared with 2018, emission reductions have been observed in most industrial sectors, according to the commission’s statement.

Total verified greenhouse gas emissions from stationary installations, such as power plants and manufacturing installations, in 2019 with 1.527 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent were 9% less than in 2018.

Emissions from aviation were 68.14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, approximately 1% higher than in 2018.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global carbon dioxide emissions are expected to decline by 8% in 2020 to levels of 10 years ago as measures designed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak have led to the closure of factories and reduced power demand.

Such a year-on-year reduction would be the largest ever, six times larger than the previous record reduction in 2009 — caused by the global financial crisis — and twice as large as the combined total of all previous reductions since the end of World War II, the IEA said.

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