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Steep increase in global CO2 emissions despite reductions by industrialized countries
Date:9/21/2011

Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) the main cause of global warming increased by 45 % between 1990 and 2010, and reached an all-time high of 33 billion tonnes in 2010. Increased energy efficiency, nuclear energy and the growing contribution of renewable energy are not compensating for the globally increasing demand for power and transport, which is strongest in developing countries.

This increase took place despite emission reductions in industrialised countries during the same period. Even though different countries show widely variable emission trends, industrialised countries are likely to meet the collective Kyoto target of a 5.2 % reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 as a group, partly thanks to large emission reductions from economies in transition in the early nineties and more recent reductions due to the 2008-2009 recession. These figures were published today in the report "Long-term trend in global CO2 emissions," prepared by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

The report, which is based on recent results from the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) and latest statistics for energy use and other activities, shows large national differences between industrialised countries. Over the period 1990-2010, in the EU-27 and Russia CO2 emissions decreased by 7% and 28% respectively, while the USA's emissions increased by 5% and the Japanese emissions remained more or less constant. The industrialised countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol (so called 'ratifying Annex 1 countries') and the USA, in 1990 caused about two-thirds of global CO2 emissions. Their share of global emissions has now fallen to less than half the global total.

Continued growth in the developing countries and emerging economies and economic recovery by the industrialised countries are the main reasons for a record breaking 5.8% increase in global CO
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Contact: Francesca Micheletti
francesca.micheletti@ext.ec.europa.eu
European Commission Joint Research Centre
Source:Eurekalert

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