Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Spain Have Decreased by 30% Since 1990

Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Spain Have Decreased by 30% Since 1990

Recently Reported CO2 Emissions Level: 339.2 MtCO2e in 2019, a Decrease of 30% from 1990 (Source: Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge)

Spain’s Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge issued a report on current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and estimated 2018’s gross emissions of 334.3 million tons of CO2.1 The level of total gross emissions of 2018 stands at +15.5% compared to 1990, -24.6% compared to 2005, and -1.7% compared to 2017.

Total gross greenhouse gas emissions:

1990 2005 2017 2018
GHG emissions (kt CO2-eq) 289.383 443.440 340.298 334.255
Variation compared to 2018 +15.5% -24.6% -1.7%

These emissions are comprised of a number of GHGs including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur oxides, among others.

In general, the evolution presented by the GHG emissions throughout the inventoried historical series are linked to variations in economic growth, population, or energy consumption in Spain since 1990. In the first half of the 90s, emissions levels showed an irregular increase which was linked to the economic development of the country and an economic recession in following years. Growth of the economy and the population between 1995 and 2008 are reflected in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, reaching levels of 443.440 kilotons of CO2-eq in the series of 2005. During the onset of the 2008 economic crisis, a marked decrease in national emissions was observed until 2015. In the last years of the series, despite the recovery in macroeconomic growth levels, emissions seemed to present a phase of relative stabilization.

The UN Environment Program’s Emissions Gap Report measured 2018’s global GHG emissions to be 55.3 gigatons of CO2 equivalent.2 Spain’s gross emissions make up 0.6% of this global figure.

In a 2018 report to the European Environment Agency, Spain outlined 47 policies and measures they planned to enact. These policies and measures cover sectors related to energy supply, energy consumption, and transport. The promotion of renewable energy, agricultural land use, and waste management were also included but to a lesser extent. Most policies and measures are expected to start in 2021 and are part of the draft National Energy and Climate Plan of Spain.3

1 The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (2020). Emissions of greenhouse gases.

2 United Nations Environment Program. (2019). Emissions Gap Report 2019.

3 European topic center on climate change mitigation and energy. (2019). Overview of reported national policies and measures on climate change mitigation in Europe in 2019.

Activity Rating

Emissions Levels: ** / 4 stars

Spain emissions have decreased just 3.3% over the past 10 years.

Existing Policies: ** / 4 stars

There is no information on the impact of Spain policies.

Combined Activity Rating: **** / 8 stars


Teresa Ribera Rodriguez, Minister of  the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge

Address: Plaza San Juan de la Cruz

Phone: 91 597 65 77 / 91 597 65 78


This post was submitted by Spain Country Manager Wendy Paredes

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