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Emissions from Industrialised countries are still high

17 Nov 2008

AFP

Carbon emissions from the industrialised world in 2006 were higher than at the start of the century, mainly as a result of revived activity by former Soviet-bloc states, according to UN figures released on Monday.

Greenhouse gas emissions from 40 so-called Annex 1 countries under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change were almost unchanged in 2006, falling by 0.1 percent from 2005, the UNFCCC said.

From 2000 to 2006, though, emissions increased by 2.3 percent.

The annual inventory was published by the UNFCCC two weeks ahead of negotiations running in Poznan, Poland, from December 1-12 on commitments beyond 2012, when pledges under the treaty's Kyoto Protocol expire.

These figures do not take forestry, land use and conversion of land into account.

When this factor is incorporated, emissions by the "Annex 1" countries rose by 1.0 percent from 2000-2006 and by 0.4 percent from 2005-2006, the Bonn-based UNFCCC 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," UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer said in a press release.

The UNFCCC, the offshoot of the 1992 Rio Summit, has 192 members, but only industrialised parties, not developing states, are required to provide data to the greenhouse-gas inventory.

From the benchmark year of 1990 to 2006, emissions from Annex 1 countries fell by 4.7 percent, excluding land and forests, but this was largely as a result of the collapse of carbon-spewing industries in the former Soviet bloc.

Emissions from these so-called transition economies have fallen by 37.6 percent since 1990.

Since 2000, though, they have risen by 7.4 percent.

A total of 188 parties to the UNFCCC are also ratifiers of the Kyoto Protocol.

Thirty-nine of them, including the European Union, are industrialised parties that have signed up to targeted emissions curbs by 2012.

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