Friday, September 01, 2006

Rich Nations' Greenhouse Gases Up

We have done some work on the determinants of UK emissions of all pollutants (not just Greenhouse gases) (JEEM 2005) - it is an interesting topic and we are working on something similar for China at the moment.

Motivation for our ongoing reasearch is touched upon in a paragraph from the article below:

"And the data do not include emissions in the Third World -- not covered by Kyoto. Fast-growing China and India were the world's second and fifth biggest sources of greenhouse gases in 2000, according to U.N. data."


Rich Nations' Greenhouse Gases Up, Despite KyotoSeptember 01, 2006 — By Alister Doyle, Reuters

OSLO — Industrialised nations' emissions of greenhouse gases edged up to the highest level in more than a decade in 2004 despite curbs meant to fight global warming, data compiled by Reuters showed on Thursday. The figures, based on national submissions to the U.N. Climate Secretariat in Bonn, indicate many countries will have to do more to meet 2012 goals set by the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol for cutting emissions of gases from fossil fuels.

Emissions from 40 industrial nations climbed 1.6 percent overall to 17.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide -- mainly from power plants, factories and cars -- in 2004 from in 2003 even though oil prices were surging. "We're not on track to solve climate change by any stretch of the imagination," said Alex Haxeltine, an expert at the University of East Anglia in England. Governments were doing little to plan for cuts in emissions beyond Kyoto, he added.

Most of the 2004 rise was caused by a 1.7 percent gain in emissions in the United States, the world's biggest source of greenhouse gases, to a record 7.07 billion tonnes. Emissions in the European Union and Canada also rose while Japan's dipped. Most industrialised nations except the United States and Australia have ratified Kyoto, which obliges an overall cut in emissions of at least 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12 with a shift to cleaner energies such as wind and solar power.

Kyoto is meant as a tiny first step by rich nations to slow global warming that many scientists say could spur more heatwaves, droughts, floods, more powerful storms and swamp coastal areas by melting ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. The 2004 data, most of it previously published by governments but not yet verified by U.N. experts, indicate that emissions are creeping up after a fall since 1990 largely caused by the collapse of Soviet-era smokestack industries. Overall emissions were 4.6 percent below 1990 levels in 2004, according to the data. Last October, the U.N. Climate Secretariat had said 2003 emissions were 5.9 percent below 1990.

No comments: