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It's a gas! (or coal or oil)

By JW Dowey - 28 Apr 2013 15:38:49 GMT
It's a gas! (or coal or oil)

This Yangtse coal boat is carrying more fuel for China's burgeoning carbon dioxide production; Yangtse coal boat; Credit: © Shutterstock

China and other rapidly developing nations are leading the greenhouse gas emissions race. The US and Europe, for different reasons, are slowing their methane and carbon dioxide production, as with other products. With fracking on the increase in North America, coal based carbon dioxide output has diminished, and less is produced from oil. Europe's economic woe is reflected in its slowdown within its power stations.

The overall result is a 0.7% reduction in greenhouse gas production. Hurray for that loss in global warming effect. From to 17.2 to 17.1 billion tonnes of combined emissions is also down 6.4% from 1990 levels, if that makes you feel any cooler. The US however remains the world's 2nd worst polluter, behind the growing Chinese emissions. The prize among these worst polluters goes to the EU, which cut by 18.5% since its own 1990 level. The significance here lies with the probable achievement of a promised 20% reduction by 2020 still within reach.

Apart from China, the major increasing emissions were produced by Russia, Japan and Turkey. India and Brazil lie not much further behind in their percentage increases. Further additions of other nations are really necessary as several quite large emitters don't report to the UN. They are developing nations and left out of calculations. The Global Carbon Trust do have a truly global estimate of a 3% increase in 2011, reducing to a 2.6% increase in 2012, placing the blame for most growth squarely on China's shoulders.

The senior scientist at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Jos Olivier, has a fair assessment on the situation with his prime quote in the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo the other day: "Per capita emissions of China are now pretty much on the same level as those in the EU."

That this all means is that brakes have to be applied, excepting the EU possibly. Many developing countries are in the Chinese situation, where growth is the answer to economic problems, whatever the cost. That cost is unfortunately, global warming.

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Topics: Oil and Gas / Fracking / Greenhouse Gases