29 November 2005

Gaseous Emissions about Kyoto

The UN's climate change secretariat has compiled some very revealing statistics about greenhouse gas emissions in the wake of the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. As reported by the Toronto Globe and Mail, Canada and New Zealand, which have not only signed the Protocol but chided their respective neighbors for not signing it, are doing no better at reining in their greenhouse gasses than Australia, which refused to sign the treaty. (Canada's emissions were up 24.2%, Australia's up 23.3%, New Zealand's up 22.5%.) Furthermore, the U.S., which refused to sign, is neck and neck with Japan, where the final version of the Protocol was hashed out. (U.S. emissions have risen 13.3%, Japan's 12.8%.)
The report shows that a huge, one-time greenhouse gas reduction occurred after the economic collapse of the former Communist countries. The former East Bloc's emissions fell from 5.7 billion tonnes in 1990 to 3.4 billion tonnes in 2003, a stunning drop equivalent to eliminating three times Canada's total annual contribution to warming the planet.

But since the early 1990s, most countries in the East and West have muddled along, making little headway in weaning themselves from their fossil-fuel dependency.

Excluding the former East Bloc, emissions among industrialized countries actually rose 9.2 per cent between 1990 and 2003.
How the hell did Spain, Monaco, and Portugal manage to increase their emissions by 36.7% to 41.7%? And Britain's growing economy to reduce its emissions by 13%? Why did the UN include no statistics on China and India?

I guess the moral of this story is that actions speak louder than sanctimonious emissions.

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