Carbon emissions soar, despite curbs

September 25, 2008

Southern Company's Plant Bowen in Cartersville, Georgia is seen in this aerial photograph in Cartersville in this file photo taken September 4, 2007. One of the biggest coal-fired plants in the country, it generates about 3,300 megawatts of electricity from four coal-fired boilers. Democrats in U.S. Congress are pressing ahead with legislation to limit emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and plants like this are squarely in their cross hairs. Picture taken September 4, 2007. To match feature USA-UTILITIES/SOUTHERN REUTERS/Chris Baltimore (UNITED STATES)Emissions of the main greenhouse gas are rocketing — despite international efforts to slow them down, according to a study today.

Read my colleague David Fogarty’s worrying article about carbon dioxide emissions — China has definitely overtaken the United States as top emitter, India is catching up with third placed Russia.

What’s alarming is that the rate of growth of gases blamed for stoking global warming is quickening. And the fastest growth is in the developing world.   A man looks at 100-metre-tall (328-foot-tall) wind turbines during sunset at the Electric Power Development Co., Ltd's Nunobiki Plateau Wind Farm in Koriyama, north of Tokyo November 8, 2007. Overlooking a mountain lake a few hours drive from Tokyo, dozens of tall wind turbines spin in the breeze creating carbon-free power for the world's fifth-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Picture taken November 8, 2007. To match feature JAPAN-WIND/ REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN)

The Global Carbon Project said in its report carbon dioxide emissions by mankind are growing about four times faster since 2000 than during the 1990s, despite efforts by 37 rich nations to rein in emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

Ouch! The report confirms that the developing countries are now producing more greenhouse gases than rich nations which have been burning fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution.

Any ideas about how the world can slow the rise, without shutting down the economy?


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A timely reminder…

Now that global economies are headed for recession, conservation and clean energy have taken a backseat.

That is short-sighted as the battle is far from over. We should be capitalizing on the extra time afforded by the slowdown to step up on clean energy development and laws.

Posted by jeflin | Report as abusive

Stop voting for the republicrats.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

I have design a small item which cost less than a dollar which reduces million of tons of Co2 gas to our climate.I tried to give this idea to top environment groups, but I feel they are only after media & money.

Posted by vikram | Report as abusive