Twenty major polluters are responsible for almost three-quarters of CO2 emissions in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
CO2 emissions

Spain reduced CO2 emissions by 14% last year compared to 2022. But CO2 is still responsible for 32% of total emissions. The rest is caused by housing, transport, agriculture and animal husbandry, among other things; Waste management; fluorinated gases and industry.

This is stated in a report by the Observatory for Sustainability (OS). It contains data on the evolution of emissions in different sectors at European and Spanish level and by autonomous community. The main sectors are as follows;

  • energy
  • cement
  • aviation
  • refining
  • chemicals, etc

Repsol number 1 in top 10 ‘major polluters’

The report includes the so-called ‘big polluters’, a ranking of the 10 most polluting companies operating in Spain with data compiled by the OS based on data from the EU emissions market. The oil company Repsol topped the ranking of most polluting companies operating in Spain last year, maintaining that position after overtaking Endesa in 2021, which had led the ranking continuously since 2008, when the historic series began.

Repsol had emissions of 11,824,734 tons of CO2 equivalent. Endesa follows with 10,557,314, followed by EDP (5,633,499), Naturgia (5,633,499), Naturgy (4,873,359) and ArcelorMittal (4,369,473). Iberica (3,640,544), Iberdrola (3,509,331), Cepsa (3,802,132), FFC (2,991,184) and LafargeHolcim (1,944,973) complete the top 10.

With emissions of more than 53 million tons, the top 10 companies accounted for 59.9% of CO2 emissions and 19.1% of total emissions last year.

Of the top 10, Naturgy (-33.8%), EDP (-31.2%), ArcelorMittal (-13.1%) and Iberdrola (-11.4%) were the companies that reduced emissions the most compared to 2022. Only IAG increased its emissions by 10.7%. FFC (-0.5%), LafargeHolcim (-1.4%) and Repsol (-4.9%) fell the least.

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Top 20 companies with the most emissions

Together with Cementos Tudela, Cemex, EasyJet, Enagás, Votorantim Cementos España, Heidelberg Cementos, BP, Dow Chemical Ibérica, Fertiberia and Saica, the above companies form the top 20 polluting companies. Collectively, they were responsible for 73% of CO2 emissions and 23.4% of total emissions in Spain last year.

In numbers 10 to 20, emissions increased at EasyJet (16.2%), Fertiberia (8.3%), Heidelberg Cementos (7.5%) and Saica (3.2%).

CO2 emissions by sector

The fossil fuel sector tops the list with 41.7% of total CO2 emissions. However, there was a reduction of 24.5% compared to 2022 and of 63.0% compared to 2008. The reduction last year at Enagás (-49.8%) was remarkable.

This is followed by oil refineries (14%), cement (13%), aviation (9%), iron and steel (6%), chemicals (3%), lime (3%), ceramics (3%), paper and cardboard (2%) and glass (2%).

How polluting are the autonomous communities?

The Autonomous Communities and Cities showed a mixed picture, with decreases in all areas except the Canary Islands (up 3.1%), Melilla (2.8%) and Castilla y León (0.5%). The largest decreases were in Asturias (-24.0%), Navarre (-23.7%), Galicia (-23.5%), Murcia (-21.2%) and the Basque Country (-21.0%).

In absolute terms, the biggest polluters were Andalucia (16% of the total), Catalonia (15%), Asturias (13%), Valencia (8%) and the Basque Country (7%). The least polluting autonomous communities were Extremadura (1.0%), Madrid (1.5%), Cantabria (2.3%), the Balearic Islands (2.5%) and Navarre (3.0%).

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