Greenhouse gas emissions from industrialized nations continue to rise, UN reports

Turning to the sun for energy helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

21 October 2009 – Harmful greenhouse gas emissions produced by industrialized countries rose for the seventh consecutive year in 2007, the United Nations reported today.

Data submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international treaty encouraging nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, showed that emissions from the 40 industrialized countries with reporting obligations under the Convention rose by 1 per cent from 2006 to 2007.

Although emissions from these nations remain 4 per cent below 1990 levels, the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere has crept up by 3 per cent from 2000 to 2007.

In addition, the group of 37 industrialized countries with targets under the Kyoto Protocol, an auxiliary agreement to the UNFCCC, minimally increased emissions from 2006 to 2007 by 0.1 per cent.

Although emission levels for these countries currently stand at around 16 per cent below the 1990 baseline, much of the reduction comes from the economic decline of Eastern and Central European economies in transition in the 1990s, and since 2000 emissions have grown among this group by 3 per cent.

The Kyoto Protocol has stronger and legally binding measures committing States to cutting emissions by an average of 5 per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period from 2008 to 2012.

“The continuing growth of emissions from industrialized countries remains worrying, despite the expectation of a momentary dip brought about by the global recession,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.

“So the numbers for 2007 underscore, once again, the urgent need to seal a comprehensive, fair and effective climate change deal in Copenhagen in December,” said Mr. de Boer, referring to the conference in the Danish capital where it is hoped countries will reach agreement on a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period expires in 2012.

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