Due to an economic transformation in the early 1990s, Romania’s emissions fell from 266 MtCO₂e in 1990 to 142 MtCO₂e (excluding LULUCF) in 2000.3 Emissions have generally continued to fall, but have stabilised in recent years, with total GHG emissions 57% below 1990 levels in 2019 (excl. LULUCF).
The energy sector is the single largest emitter, with a share of 65% of total emissions (excl. LULUCF). Industry emissions (energy use and processes), which were 69% lower than 1990 levels in 2019 due to the closing down of inefficient industry after the collapse of the Soviet Union, contributes 31% of overall GHG emissions (excl. LULUCF).3 The transport sector represented 22% of overall emissions in 2019 and has seen a significant upward trend, with emissions from this sector now 52% higher than in 1990.3 The LULUCF sector acts as a significant sink in Romania, removing 28.7% of overall emissions.
1 European Commission. Assessment of the final national energy and climate plan of Romania. 2020.
2 Government of Romania. National Energy and Climate Plan – Romania. 2020.
3 European Environment Agency. EEA greenhouse gases – data viewer. 2021.
4 International Energy Agency. IEA world energy balances, 2020. 2020.
5 European Environment Agency. Share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption. 2021.
6 European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Making the transition to zero-emission mobility: 2021 progress report. 2021.
7 Bankwatch Network. The Romanian renewable energy sector: a potential still untapped. 2020.
8 Romanian Government. National long-term renovation strategy. 2020.
9 Ministry of Public Works Development and Administration. Romanian national long-term renovation strategy: key elements. 2020.
10 Petre, G. Romania might become one of Europe’s biggest hydrogen hubs: investments of over 1,6 bn euros are in early stages of development. CEEnergy News. 2021.
11 Global Gas Plant Tracker, last updated August 2022, by Global Energy Monitor can be found here.
Romaniaʼs current GHG emissions
- Industry (energy use)
- Fugitive emissions
- Industry (processes)
Sectors by gas
The energy sector constitutes the largest share of emissions in Romania, making up 65% of total emissions (excl. LULUCF). This is because of its heavy reliance on fossil fuels.
In 2018, natural gas and oil accounted for the largest shares of Romania’s total energy supply at 29% each. This was followed by coal (15%), biofuels (11.5%), nuclear (9%) and hydro (4.5%). Renewables (excl. hydro) only contributed 2% to the total energy supply in 2018, indicating significant room for improvement in this area.4
In its 2021-2030 Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan, Romania set a target of increasing the share of renewables in gross final energy consumption to 30.7% in 2030.2 Considering that the share of renewables (including hydropower) was at 24.3% in 2019, this does not represent a substantial increase in ambition.5
A lack of policy intent leaves Romania on a trajectory that is far from being 1.5°C compatible. Despite a stated 2030 coal phase-out, the planned replacement of some coal plants with fossil gas plants would be a move in the wrong direction, let alone the 3.9 GW fossil gas capacities under construction as of August 2022.2
Current targets indicate that the Romanian power sector will be far from 1.5°C compatible by 2030.
Targets and commitments
National 2030 Target under EU regulations:
- ETS emissions: 44% below 2005 by 2030.
- Non-ETS emissions: 2% below 2005 by 2030 (proposed increase to 12.7% under Fit for 55 package).
- Emissions from industry and electricity are covered by the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
- As of October 2022, Romania has not yet submitted its national long-term strategy to the Commission as required under Article 15 of the Governance Regulation.
Greenhouse gas coverageCO₂CH₄NF₃HFCsN₂OSF₆
- Improve energy efficiency by 45.1% in primary energy consumption and by 40.4% compared with projections for 2030.2
- Increase the share of renewables in building sector final energy demand to 33% in the heating sector.2
- Coal phase-out by 2030.
- Increase the share of renewables in gross final energy consumption to 30.7%.
- Increase the share of renewables in transport sector final energy demand to 14.2% by 2030.2