Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Global CO2 emissions continue to rise

Not only are global CO2 emissions rising, but the rate of growth is rising too, so says a recent study by the Global Carbon Project.

"From 2000 to 2005, the growth rate of carbon dioxide emissions was more than 2.5% per year, whereas in the 1990s it was less than 1% per year," said Dr Mike Rapauch of the Australian government's research organisation CSIRO, who co-chairs the Global Carbon Project.
their study suggests that these recent increases are a result of 2 factors;

(i) we are now becoming less carbon efficient so, globally, CO2 emissions per unit of GDP are now rising after many years of decline. In short, the project concludes that energy efficiency gains have stalled.

(ii) as the price of oil increases some parts of the world are turning to charcoal use which has a higher carbon content than oil.

"At these rates, it certainly sounds like we'll end up towards the high end of the emission scenarios considered by the IPCC," commented Myles Allen from Oxford University, one of Britain's leading climate modellers.

Full story here.

The above story suggests we should be all the more grateful for the fact that Phase 2 of the EU emissions trading scheme sounds like it will require bigger cuts in emissions (i.e. fewer permits will be distributed). Phase 1 of the permit scheme was criticised for requiring only modest emissions abatement. See full story here and also Rob's post below.

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