Friday, March 14, 2008

China’s Carbon Dioxide Emissions Are Greatly Exceeding Predictions

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that from 2004 through CO2 emissions would increase annually by 2.5 to 5% in the region of Asia that includes China, but according to a report in Reuters economics researchers from the US publishing in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management say that the annual rate of increase for China over this time period will be at least 11%. According to the researchers the increase in CO2 emissions from China will greatly exceed all the reductions pledged by the countries participating in the Kyoto Protocol for the years 2008 to 2012. One of the researchers said that "What we're finding…is that the emissions growth rate is surpassing our worst expectations, and that means the goal of stabilizing atmospheric CO2 is going to be much, much harder to achieve."

Much, much harder to achieve may even be an understatement. Perhaps impossible to achieve is more accurate. With all the positive reports about increasing numbers of wind turbines and solar installations being in the news it seems that there is some reason for optimism that atmospheric CO2 levels can kept to a level that does not precipitate catastrophic climate change, but this report on China is quite a reality check.

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