Industrialized worlds greenhouse gas emissions rising – UN report

“These findings clearly demonstrate that stronger and more creative policies will be needed for accelerating the spread of climate-friendly technologies and persuading businesses, local governments and citizens to cut their greenhouse gas emissions,” said Joke Waller Hunter, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Convention.The so-called transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe are also starting to increase their emissions again as their economies recover from their early- and mid-1990s nadir, according to the report, “Compilation and Synthesis of Third National Communications” and based on projections provided by the governments themselves. As a result, the developed world as a whole – highly industrialized plus transition countries – will see its emissions increase by 10 per cent from 2000 to 2010.Developed countries saw their combined emissions actually fall during the 1990s, by 3 per cent, due to a 37 per cent decline in transition country emissions. They thus met the Climate Change Convention’s intermediate aim of keeping the group’s overall emissions at 1990 levels by 2000.But greenhouse gas emissions in the highly industrialized countries rose by 8 per cent during that period. The European Union’s total emissions decreased by 3.5 per cent from 1990 to 2000, with individual member States varying between a decrease of 19 per cent and an increase of 35 per cent. Emissions increased in most other highly industrialized countries, including New Zealand (5 per cent), Japan (11 per cent), United States (14 per cent), Australia (18 per cent) and Canada (20 per cent).The report will be considered at a two-week meeting of the Convention’s 190 member governments that formally opens in Bonn, Germany, tomorrow. Its projections, based on data from 2000-2001, can help governments plan their future climate change strategies. With a very few exceptions, the reporting governments underlined the importance of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol in shaping their domestic climate policy responses. They reiterated that their Kyoto targets are a first step towards long-term and continued emission reductions.

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