Huge Jump In CO2 Emissions Reported For 2010

As delegates from 191 nations gather in Durban, South Africa to tackle climate change, a new report shows the largest increase in carbon emissions, and the greatest percentage increase since 2003. Coal combustion accounts for more than half the gain.
December 6, 2011, 5am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Emissions rose 5.9 percent in 2010, according to an analysis released Sunday by the Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of scientists tracking the numbers...The growth rate in the 1990s was closer to 1 percent yearly.

In the United States, emissions dropped by a remarkable 7 percent in the recession year of 2009, but rose by just over 4 percent last year, the new analysis shows."

By comparison, China, which surpassed the U.S. several years ago as the world's top emitter, increased emissions by 10.4%.

Fifty-seven percent of the increase in emissions comes from the developing world. However, the researchers were quick to point out that the increase was largely due to burgeoning energy-intensive manufacturing of goods imported by wealthy nations - pointing to a reason for developed nations, who may have spent vast sums to increase energy efficiency and reduce coal consumption, to retain their manufacturing sector.

"Scientists say the rapid growth of emissions is warming the Earth, threatening the ecology and putting human welfare at long-term risk."

One researcher's outlook was grim: "There's no evidence that this trajectory we've been following the last 10 years is going to change", remarked Glen P. Peters of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo and a leader of the group that produced the new analysis.

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Published on Monday, December 5, 2011 in The New York Times - Environment
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