Greenhouse gasses increase

A new report claims that man-made global greenhouse-gas emissions increased by 15 per cent between 2000 and 2005, a sharp increase in the expected rate of growth.


A new report from the Joint Research Centre (JRC) claims that man-made global greenhouse-gas emissions increased by 15 per cent between 2000 and 2005, a sharp increase in the expected rate of growth.


It also shows that global annual emissions of greenhouse gases increased from 24bn tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents in 1970 to 33bn tonnes in 1990 and 41bn tonnes in 2005.


The new report takes its figures from EDGAR (the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research), a joint project between the JRC and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL).


EDGAR uses the latest international statistics and data on greenhouse-gas emissions to model emissions for every country in the world.


It reports on energy production and consumption, industrial manufacturing, agricultural production, disposal of waste materials and the burning of biomass.


The EDGAR database shows conclusively that greenhouse-gas emissions have been rising faster in developing countries than in industrialised ones since 2004, even though developing countries emit lower levels of the gases.


Levels of emissions in developing countries are now three-times higher than they were in 1970 (from 7bn tonnes in 1970 to approximately 21bn tonnes in 2005).


At the same time, man-made emission levels from industrialised countries have slowed down.


Carbon dioxide increased the most, but levels of gases such as methane and nitrous oxide have also grown.


Emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (such as hydrofluorocarbons, which are extremely powerful and last for long periods in the atmosphere) have increased by up to 40 per cent.


The EDGAR statistics will be used to provide a global perspective on worldwide trends in greenhouse-gas emissions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15), which will take place in Copenhagen in December 2009.