Why have an EEC?

kyotoprotocol-logoTHE ENERGY Efficiency Certificate is an initiative of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international treaty that sets binding obligations on industrialised countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. In the treaty, Spain is committed to reduce CO² emissions by 20% by the end of 2020. 

So why has Spain decided to introduce the Energy Efficiency Certificate? It has taken 11 years since the Directive of the European Parliament and Council on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) came into force in January 2002. Spain lagged way behind other EU countries, then finally implement the certificate on 1st June 2013. 

Houses in Spain consume 17% of all the energy in the country. Emissions of greenhouse gases caused by buildings has grown over 20% since 1990. 38% of the Spanish are not satisfied with insulation against heat and cold from their homes, and 42% also state dissatisfaction with the sound insulation (CIS survey 2010). Moreover, about 60% of Spanish homes have been raised “with no minimum energy efficiency standards” (the first being in 1979). All this data has facilitated the Council of Ministers to give a green light for the domestic legal system to enact what has been left in the drawer by the popular socialists for the last eleven years.

Spain_Carbon_Dioxide_Emissions_1971-2007In national terms, Spain used to be one of the worst offenders in terms of CO2 emissions, with a whopping 200 per cent rise between 1971 and 2007. Former Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero pledged to cut Spain´s greenhouse gases by 20 per cent by 2020 (compared to 1990 levels), and to produce 30 per cent of its energy from sustainable sources (8.7 per cent in 2006), half from wind power, by 2010. The latest figure available is from January 2009 is 34.8 per cent.

In the first half of 2009, emissions in Spain fell by 17 per cent, due to industrial slowdown and increased renewable power – an unexpected upside to the current economic crisis. In terms of clean energy, globally, in 2008, over half the world´s solar power was produced in Spain, with the country being home to half the planet’s solar installations. In total, 2.2 per cent of Spain´s electricity is produced by solar plants, predicted to rise to 2.5 per cent. And wind power is not lagging behind – on one gusty weekend in November 2008, over half – 53 per cent – of the country´s electricity was produced by wind turbines. The annual average is 13 per cent. 

According to the latest data published by the United Nations, Spain is currently number 20 in a list of countries by CO² emissions, producing 1.1% of emissions worldwide. China is number 1 with 23.5% followed by the United States with 18.27%.