20 November 2008

Industrialized countries slow to reduce emissions

mongabay.com, November 17, 2008

Industrialized countries are making slow progress in reducing emissions as pledged under the Kyoto Protocol, finds a new U.N. assessment of global emissions.
Greenhouse gas emissions by 40 "Annex 1" countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) fell by 0.1 percent in 2006 and are presently 4.7 percent below the 1990 level which serves as the emissions benchmark. Most of the decrease resulted from the collapse of polluting industries in Eastern and Central Europe following the fall of the Soviet Union. Since 2000 these countries have seen a 7.4 percent increase in emissions.

Changes in total aggregate emissions of individual Annex I Parties, 1990–2006

The inventory shows that emissions by some industrialized countries continue to surge: Spain's 2006 emissions were 50.6 percent above 1990 levels, while Portugal's were 40 percent higher, Australia's 28.8 percent higher, Canada 21.7 percent, and the United States 14 percent. Meanwhile Britain has managed to reduce its emissions 15.1 percent relative to 1990, Germany's cut was 18.2 percent, and France's was 3.5 percent.

The figures were released two weeks ahead of UNFCCC climate talks in Poznan, Poland. The next climate treaty — which will replace Kyoto — will be hammered out a year from now in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“The figures clearly underscore the urgency for the UN negotiating process to make good progress in Poznan and move forward quickly in designing a new agreement to respond to the challenge of climate change,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, in a statement.

Changes in total aggregate emissions of individual Annex I Parties, 1990–2006

De Boer added that the data is important to carbon trading markets which have emerged under the Kyoto Protocol to help countries meet emissions limits.

"Emission quotas defined by the Kyoto Protocol are no longer simple numbers on paper – they are part of real-time operation of the global carbon market," said Yvo de Boer. "We see the carbon market working and this is an important message, not least for the Poznan meeting," he added.

The survey showed that in Annex 1 countries, emissions from the transport sector have risen the most (15.8 percent) since 1990, followed by energy industries (2.8 percent).

Emerging economies like China, Russia, and Brazil are not Annex 1 countries and were not included in the survey.

Copyright mongabay 2007

Read more... Sphere: Related Content

No comments: