The IEA on emission trends

by Milan on October 20, 2011

in Climate change, International relations

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a new report: CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion – 2011 Highlights.

The IEA’s general conclusions:

While the emissions of developing countries (non- Annex I) continued to grow in 2009 (+3.3%), led by Asia and the Middle East, the emissions of developed countries (Annex I) fell sharply (-6.5%), putting them at 6.4% below their 1990 collective level. It should be noted that 2009 emission levels for the group of countries participating in the Kyoto protocol were 14.7% below their 1990 level.

Global CO2 emissions actually decreased by 0.5 Gt CO2 between 2008 and 2009, which represented a decline of 1.5%. However, trends varied greatly: as already noted above, the emissions of Annex I countries decreased, whereas the emissions of non-Annex I countries increased. Due to these diverging trends, the share of total emissions for developing countries increased to 54% (excluding bunkers), after becoming larger than Annex I’s share for the first time since 2008.

These figures suggest that it is important to develop a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol that will be capable of constraining emissions in developing countries. Making that fair and politically possible will probably require both mitigation effort and funding from developed countries.

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Milan October 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm

It is worth noting that a fair few of those developing world emissions relate to the production of products used in the developed world. A tonne of steel that finds its way into an American car may well generate CO2 emissions that count in China’s total, because that is where the steel mill is located.

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