Romania ranks among top three EU countries with the least CO2 emissions

With 5.7 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per capita in 2020, Romania is one of the least polluting European countries, but that comes at the expense of lowered energy-producing capacities.

Romania’s per capita emissions were on par with those of Portugal, with only Sweden and Latvia polluting less.

Romania’s emissions of greenhouse gases were 47% lower in 2020 than in 1990, when the country emitted 10.8 tons per capita each year. The achievement comes after 30 years in which the country moved away from an industry-heavy communist economy.

Power Plant CO2 Emissions

Romania stands apart from the other large Eastern European country, Poland. The latter has one of the lowest rates of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, 20% since 1990. Poland’s greenhouse gas emissions stood at 10 tons per capita in 2020, according to Eurostat data cited by Ziarul Financiar.

However, between 2011 and 2020, Poland also managed to increase its energy production by 29%, combining coal-based power plants with environmentally-friendly energy sources like wind and solar. By comparison, Romania’s coal plants, which produced 5300 MW a decade ago, now provide less than half that, transforming the country from a net energy exporter into an importer for the last three years running.

Greenhouse gas emissions in the EU are estimated to have increased this year as economies rebounded from shutdowns caused by the pandemic. Eurostat data show that the Netherlands (-9%), Finland (-1%), and Sweden (-0.6%) were the only ones that registered a decrease in emissions in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the same period last year. Bulgaria (+38%), Malta (+21%) and Ireland (+20%).