4. Methane - CH4

Page Last modified 20 Apr 2016, 02:32 PM

4. METHANE - CH4

4.1 CH4-emissions by countries

The 1990 annual total CH4-emissions for EUROPE were estimated to be 45 million tonnes. These emissions broken down by EU-12, EFTA-5 and PHARE-10 countries are shown in figure 4.1. The largest contributor were the EU-12 countries with 60%, second largest the PHARE-10 countries with 27%. The EFTA-5 countries contributed 10% and Germany (former East) and Malta 3%.

Figure 4.1: Contribution in % to the EUROPEAN total CH4-emissions

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Figure 4.2 shows the relative contribution of individual countries to the total of 45 million tonnes. In 1990 the largest contributing countries were Poland (13%), Greece (12%) and Germany (former West; 11%); the smallest contributing countries were Malta (0.02%), Luxembourg (0.06%) and Slovenia (0.3%). These differences are due to different size of population, different per capita emissions (see also paragraph 4.3) and differences in emissions from natural sources.

Figure 4.2: Contribution in % of each country to the EUROPEAN total CH4-emissions

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4.2 CH4-emissions per group

One third of the CH4-emissions for EUROPE resulted from agriculture (group 10) in 1990. Group 11 (nature) and group 5 (extraction and distribution of fossil fuels) both contributed 23%. Group 9 (waste treatment and disposal) produced 19% and group 2 (commercial, institutional and residential combustion) contributed only 1% to the total CH4-emissions of EUROPE. In contrast to other pollutants the groups 1 (public power, cogeneration and district heating), 3 (industrial combustion), 4 (production processes), 7 (road transport) and 8 (other mobile sources and machinery) are not relevant for CH4-emissions.

The split of the CH4-emissions into groups for EU-12 countries is quite similar compared to the split for EUROPE with the exception of the smaller contribution of group 5 (extraction and distribution of fossil fuels) with 16% for EU-12 countries. In the PHARE-10 countries the contribution of group 5 (extraction and distribution of fossil fuels) is 44% and thus significant higher than its contribution in EUROPE. In the PHARE-10-countries the groups 9 (waste treatment and disposal) and 11 (nature) produced 9% and 11% of the CH4-emissions; this is much lower than the contribution of these groups in EUROPE, in the EU-12 countries and in the EFTA-5 countries. In the EFTA-5 countries more than half of the CH4-emissions were attributed to group 11 (nature).

The differences of contributions especially of the main sourcegroups 10, 11, 5 and 9 to the total emissions are larger between countries than these groups (see also table 4.1). The relative contribution of the CH4-emissions of group 10 ranges from 76% (Ireland) to 7% (Greece), of group 11 from 83% (Greece) to 0% (Belgium, Wallonie region and others), of group 5 from 56% (Romania) to 0% (Sweden and others) and of group 9 (waste treatment and disposal) from 80% (Malta) to 0% (Lithuania and others).

However it is evident already from these differences in the relative contribution of source groups to a countries total emissions that strategies for reduction of CH4-emissions need individual solutions as well as common elements.

Figure 4.3: Contribution in % of source groups to the EUROPEAN CH4-emissions

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4.3 CH4-emissions per capita

Only anthropogenic emissions are expected to be related to population for these calculations. Therefore group 11 (nature) has been excluded.

For EUROPE the average CH4-emissions per capita were 72 kg/capita. Compared to this number the per capita CH4-emissions were 13% smaller for the EU-12 countries with 63 kg/capita, 8% smaller for the EFTA-5 countries with 66 kg/capita and 46% larger for the PHARE-10 countries with 105 kg/capita. This comparison is also shown in figure 4.4 and table 9.

Again the differences are much larger if individual countries are compared: the largest CH4-emissions per capita were estimated for Ireland (226 kg/capita) and the next largest ones for Poland (151 kg/capita) and Czech Republic (141 kg/capita); the smallest per capita emissions for CH4 were calculated for Portugal (25 kg/capita), Malta (26 kg/capita) and Belgium, Flemish region (28 kg/capita). Figure 4.6 shows the countries ranked according their per capita emissions. The smallest per capita emissions is a factor of 9 smaller compared to the largest number.

Figure 4.4: CH4-emissions per capita for EUROPE

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Figure 4.5: CH4-emissions per capita for individual countries

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4.4 CH4-emissions per km2

The emissions per km2 have been calculated from the total emissions, the emissions of group 11 (nature) having been included in this case.

For EUROPE the average CH4-emissions per km2 were estimated as 9 602 kg/km2. Compared to this number the per km2 CH4-emissions were 25% larger for the EU-12 countries with 12 028 kg/km2, 22% larger for the PHARE-10 countries with 11 672 kg/km2 and 61% smaller for the EFTA-5 countries with 3 704 kg/km2. This comparison is also shown in figure 4.6 and table 10.

Figure 4.6: CH4-emissions per km2 for EUROPE

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Again the differences are much larger if individual countries are compared; the largest CH4-emissions per km2 were for Greece (41 738 kg/km2) and the next largest ones for Malta (28 611 kg/km2) and the Netherlands (25 079 kg/km2); the smallest emissions per km2 for CH4 were for Norway (868 kg/km2), Finland (2 930 kg/km2) and Lithuania (4 090 kg/km2). Figure 4.7 shows the countries ranked according their CH4-emission per km2. The differences in the emissions per km2 between countries are much larger compared to the per capita emissions. The smallest number being 48 times smaller than the largest number.

Figure 4.7: CH4-emissions per km2 for individual countries

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Table 4.1: Methane emissions per country and group

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