The European Green Deal has established a 2050 net-zero emissions target to tackle climate change. The manufacturing and energy sectors account for at least 40% of European emissions and are central in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Thus, devising suitable strategies for reaching net-zero emissions requires a comprehensive analysis of emissions reductions achieved by the two sectors. This paper has a two-fold aim: firstly, to empirically analyse European energy and manufacturing facilities’ abatement results, secondly, to expose whether the two sectors are on track to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. We used European Union Emissions Trading System data from 2005 to 2017 from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom to analyse the homogeneity of mitigation performances and the distribution of emissions among installations. The results indicate that a large share of installations have not decreased emissions yet, although there is substantial variety in units’ contribution to total carbon releases. A smaller bundle of units (from 13 to 23%) containing super-polluters is responsible for up to 95% of emissions. The findings highlight that achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 will require additional policies that are tailored to super-polluters and also support installations that have not started their decarbonisation pathway.

Energy Policy Vol. 156

Leticia Canal Vieira, Mariolina Longo, Matteo Mura

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