Published on Monday, February 12, 2024 | Updated on Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Spain | A Comprehensive Sectoral Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The intensity of GHG emissions in scope 3 of the sectors of activity of the Spanish economy, estimated by BBVA Research with input-output analysis, generally maintains a downward trend, with notable advances in intensive sectors subject to the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

Key points

  • Key points:
  • In 2022, a more carbon-intensive energy mix affected by geopolitical factors, along with the post-pandemic economic recovery, boosted GHG emissions in Spain (3.1% GHG and 4.5% CO2). By sector, air transport, energy supply and refining recorded the largest rises in emissions.
  • Understanding sector vulnerabilities to climate transition requires analyzing not only direct emissions (Scope 1) but also indirect emissions (Scope 2 and 3) embedded in the full lifecycle of products and services. BBVA Research estimates Scope 2 and 3 emissions with a methodology based on Input-Output (I-O) tables.
  • Using sector-specific price production indices, the study points to the improvements in emission intensities of the top ten most polluting sectors in Spain. Scope 3 ratios decreased in these sectors, with an accumulated drop in CO2 emitted for each additional unit of product of 8.5% in four years (2016-2019), which represents an annual decrease of 2.2%.
  • However, the overall progress has been modest. The average inflation-adjusted ratio across all sectors reveals a less favorable evolution, with approximately a 5% decrease (1.3% annually). This analysis brings to light the disparity in emission intensity improvements between the most and least polluting sectors of the economy, with the former showing more substantial gains.
  • In short, despite notable improvements, Spain remains considerably distant from its objectives, necessitating a more efficacious approach.

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