THE Balearic Islands have increased their gas emissions by 57 percent between 1990 and 2002, this is four times above the international recommended level, according to a study published in the World Watch magazine.
The Kyoto Agreement, agreed by the United Nations, will be in force on 16 February. This is the only international agreement available to protect the world from climatic change.
The Kyoto Agreement draws up the levels of CO2 emissions that can be allowed into the atmosphere and the Balearic Islands can have no exception in their rulings. Our regional contribution to lowering those gas emissions that have a greenhouse affect are nil.
In terms of Spain, the Balearic Islands increase in emissions is only below two other regions; the Canary Islands (76 percent) and Valencia (62 percent). The Balearic Islands are one area of the world where emissions have increased, in spite of the fact that there are no factories on the islands with a huge dependency on energy.
The Balearic emissions represent 2.33 percent of the Spanish total, whilst its population only represents 2.06 percent and it's Gross National Product (GNP) 2.59 percent.
Our region has these bleak figures in spite of not having any big factories that require massive energy needs and without huge gas emissions. However, the making of fossil fuel electricity (coal, oil and petrol) and transport problems (high numbers of private cars and the enormous dependency on air traffic for tourism) means that the gases emitted into the atmosphere that contribute to global warming are far above other Spanish regions that have a higher level of industrialisation.
In the Balearic Islands the gases emitted by the energy and transport industries represent 89 percent of the total. This only represents 29 percent for the transport industry, but which has experienced a 46 percent increase from 1990 to 2002. The transport industry represents 25 percent of the total increase in emissions on the islands.
In the same magazine, it was noted that energy consumption has increased the levels of gas emissions by 80 percent in the Balearic Islands, this represents 49 percent of the total and gives us an explanation for the huge increases experienced in the Balearic Islands.
The Balearic Islands have little possibility of generating hydroelectric power and is currently waiting for the arrival of natural gas (estimated to arrive by 2007). The region has little diversification in energy consumption, since 66 percent (equivalent to two-thirds) depends on oil, 30 percent on coal (for the power station at Murterar in Alcúdia) and only 3.2 percent on renewable energy, according to a study researched by the Government Energy Department.
Energy consumption cost over 1 million euros in 2002
THE huge oil dependency in the Balearic Islands is mainly due to the needs required by the land and air transport industries.
The transport industry uses 61 percent of total energy consumption on the islands, this is far above that in mainland Spain (40 percent) and the European Union (33 percent).
The consumption levels of the transport industry in the Balearic Islands is almost double to that in the EU. However, it must be noted, that the factories in Spain, as well as in the European Union, have considerable weight in energy consumption needs (31 and 29 percent respectively.) These levels scarcely feature for Balearic factories. This secondary sector takes up only 7 percent of the total energy consumption. The energy consumption for transport industries on land is 34 percent, whilst aviation and maritime industries arrive at 23 percent.