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Sound and independent information
on the environment

Lithuania

Climate change mitigation (Lithuania)

Why should we care about this issue

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

Climate change resulting from strong economic performance poses a threat not only to global ecosystems but also to a country’s economy and social environment. Under the Kyoto Protocol Lithuania has an obligation to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 8 % against 1990 levels during the period 2008-2012.

The key drivers and pressures

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 13 Apr 2011

Figures

Fig. 1. Change in GHG emissions and GDP, 2001–2007. Source: The Department of Statistics

Data source
This figure has no data source. For further information contact  EEA enquiry service.

Fig. 1. Change in GHG emissions and GDP, 2001–2007. Source: The Department of Statistics
Fullscreen image Original link

Fig. 2. Emissions in the industry, energy and transport sectors and GDP change in 2001–2007. Source: The Department of Statistics

Data source
This figure has no data source. For further information contact  EEA enquiry service.

Fig. 2. Emissions in the industry, energy and transport sectors and GDP change in 2001–2007. Source: The Department of Statistics
Fullscreen image Original link

Lithuania’s growing economy and energy demand are contributing to a gradual increase in GHG emissions. Between 2001 and 2007, these emissions grew by 22 %. In 2007, GHG emissions amounted to 25.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2 eq.), 6 million tonnes of which were CO2 eq. in the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and 19.5 million tonnes were CO2 eq. in the non-EU ETS. As indicated by GHG inventory data under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in 2007 GHG emissions in Lithuania were down 53 % on the 1990 level. Yet during this period, GDP increased by 101 % at 2001 prices.

 

Between 1990 and 2000, a decline in industrial production in Lithuania led to a significant decrease in fuel consumption and, as a result, a reduction in GHG emissions (by 60% during 1990–1999). An assessment of agricultural GHG has indicated that only direct soil GHG emissions increased between 2006 and 2007 (+5 %). The remaining GHG emissions from agricultural processes decreased after the introduction of improved manure handling systems. In 2008, total Kyoto greenhouse gas emissions (tonnes of CO2 eq. per capita) were 7.26, which was a reduction of almost 55 % compared to the base year (Fig. 1).

From 2005 onwards there was insignificant growth in total emissions. Changes in emissions varied, depending on the economic sector. For example, emissions in the industrial sector decreased compared to 2005, while they increased in the transport sector. In 2007, GDP grew by 19 % and emissions went up by 2 % compared with 2006 (Fig. 2).

The landscape is part of a country’s national identity and a factor in the quality of life of its population. The conservation, management and cultivation of the landscape to meet the economic, social, cultural, ecological and aesthetic needs of society are therefore among the main objectives identified in the National Sustainable Development Strategy.

The 2020 outlook

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

Compliance with EU requirements and the decommissioning of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant by the end of 2009 will increase the burden on other Lithuanian power plants burning fossil fuels, which will also push up GHG emissions. With a view to reducing Lithuania’s dependence on fuel imports and lowering GHG emissions from its territory, the National Energy Strategy approved in 2007 provides for a more extensive use of local renewable energy sources. The target share of energy from renewable sources is 12 % in the primary energy mix by 2010.

 

As a result of economic restructuring and efforts made to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions, Lithuania should meet the 12 % target with existing domestic measures. However, the decommissioning of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant at the end of 2009 might lead to a sharp increase in emissions as growing demand for electricity will have to be satisfied by the existing power plants burning fossil fuels. This increase will amount to approximately 5.5 million tonnes of CO2 compared to the present quantity of GHG in the electricity production sector (from 2.4 million tonnes of CO2 in 2007 to 7.8 million tonnes in 2010). An assessment of the prospects for developing the country’s energy and transport sectors indicates that Lithuania will comply with requirements under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce GHG by 73 % in 2010 and by 45 % in 2020.

Existing and planned responses

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

Since 2002, Lithuania has successfully achieved one of the objectives of its National Sustainable Development Strategy: it has managed to keep growth in GHG emissions to a limit that is half of the country’s economic growth (Fig. 1 and 2). The combustion of fossil fuels is also one of the main sources of GHG emissions. Therefore both the National Sustainable Development Strategy and the National Energy Strategy provide for an increase in the share of energy from renewable sources. The National Energy Strategy is the main instrument for the development of Lithuanian energy policy, although a Renewable Energy Sources Act and a Renewable Energy Action Plan are also currently being prepared. The key measures for the reduction of GHG emissions in the energy and industry sectors also include the use of local and waste energy resources, energy efficiency and development of co-generation. In the transport sector, the Biomass, Biofuel and Bio-Oils Act provides for the development of measures to ensure that biofuels make up at least 5.75 % of all automotive fuels by 31 December 2010. To implement this Act, a programme of biofuel production and consumption has been developed for the period 2004–2010. In the energy mix for 2007, about 8.7 % of primary energy, 4.7 % of electrical energy and 4.6 % of biofuels were produced from renewable sources. If energy production from renewable sources maintains its current growth rate, the production targets likely to be achieved in 2010 are: 12 % of primary energy, 7 % of electrical energy and 5.75 % of biofuels from renewable sources.

Fig. 3. Growth in primary energy, electrical energy and biofuels produced from renewable sources, 2001–2007 and the forecast for 2010. Source: Ministry of Economy.
Disclaimer

The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

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