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UN reports rise in greenhouse gas emission

November 19, 2008

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UNITED NATIONS, Nov 18: Greenhouse gas emissions of 40 industrialised countries rose by 2.3 per cent between 2000 and 2006, still about 5 per cent below the 1990 level, according to United Nations figures released on Tuesday.

For the smaller group of industrialised countries that ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol setting reduction targets, emissions in 2006 were about 17 per cent below the protocol’s 1990 base line, but they still grew after 2000.

The pre-2000 decrease stemmed from the economic decline of transition countries in Eastern and Central Europe in the 1990s.

“The biggest recent increase in emissions of industrialised countries has come from economies in transition, which have seen a rise of 7.4 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions within the 2000 to 2006 time frame,” Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said.

“The figures clearly underscore the urgency for the UN negotiating process to make good progress in Poznan and move forward quickly in designing a new agreement to respond to the challenge of climate change,” he added, referring to the talks in the Polish city from December 1 to 12 that constitute the half-way mark of a two-year negotiating process, set to culminate in an ambitious international climate change deal in Copenhagen next year.

Mr de Boer also noted that accounting data, including emission quotas for the Kyoto commitment period 2008-2012, had been finalised for almost all Kyoto countries. Such data is already used in emissions trading conducted by countries in accordance with the rules established by the Kyoto Protocol.

“Emission quotas defined by the Kyoto Protocol are no longer simple numbers on paper — they are part of real-time operation of the global carbon market,” he said.

“We see the carbon market working and this is an important message, not least for the Poznan meeting,” he added.