US Leads Drop in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Posted by Michelle Howard
Friday, April 25, 2014

Industrialised nations' greenhouse gas emissions fell by 1.3 percent in 2012, led by a U.S. decline to the lowest in almost two decades with a shift to natural gas from dirtier coal, official statistics show.



Emissions from more than 40 nations were 10 percent below 1990 levels in 2012, according to a Reuters compilation of national data submitted to the United Nations in recent days that are the main gauge of efforts to tackle global warming.



Still, with emissions rising elsewhere, experts said the rate of decline was too slow to limit average world temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, a ceiling set by almost 200 nations to avert droughts, heatwaves and rising seas.



In 2012 "the success story is the declining emissions in the United States," said Glen Peters, of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo. "Europe is a mix with slow GDP growth offset by a shift to coal in some countries."



Total emissions from industrialised nations fell to 17.3 billion tonnes in 2012 from 17.5 billion in 2011 and compared with 19.2 billion in 1990, the base year for the U.N.'s climate change convention.
 


U.S. emissions fell 3.4 percent in 2012 to 6.5 billion tonnes, the lowest since 1994, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on April 15. The fall was linked to low natural gas prices, helped by a shale gas boom and a shift from coal, a mild winter and greater efficiency in transport.



In the European Union, emissions dipped 1.3 percent in 2012 to 4.5 billion tonnes and were 19.2 percent down from 1990 levels, the European Environment Agency said.
 


Weak Economics
Road transport emissions declined in some EU nations such as Italy, Spain and Greece that are suffering prolonged economic downturns. Emissions rose against the trend in Germany and Britain, with more coal used to generate electricity.



Among other major nations, emissions dipped in Canada in 2012 but rose in Russia, Japan and Australia.



The overall decline in emissions by industrialised nations is not enough to offset a rise in world emissions, driven by emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa which are using more energy as their populations get richer.
 


Global emissions surged to 49 billion tonnes in 2010 from 38 billion in 1990, according to the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).



Governments aim to agree a pact to slow climate change by the end of 2015 to succeed the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, which binds only some developed nations to cut emissions until 2020.



The IPCC says that it is at least 95 percent probable that human activities, rather than natural variations in the climate, are the dominant cause of warming since the mid-20th century. Even so, opinion polls show that many voters are doubtful.
 


Corinne Le Quere, professor of climate change at Britain's University of East Anglia, said far tougher action was needed to reach the target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees C, with global cuts of about 3 percent a year.



"It requires a transformation in the way we use energy," she said. "In the short term, there are a lot of gains to be made in energy efficiency - in buildings, appliances, transport."



Industrialised nations' emissions have fallen since 1990 partly because many manufacturers had shifted operations abroad to emerging economies with lower costs, she said, meaning there was no overall reduction in emissions.
 


Counting greenhouse gases emitted to make products consumed in rich nations - from cars to washing machines - emissions by industrialised nations had risen an estimated 6 percent since 1990, she said. Data submitted to the United Nations, however, only cover emissions inside each country.

 

 

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

 

Maritime Reporter July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

Fratelli Neri Orders Damen ASD 3212 Tug

One of the largest Italian tug owners, Fratelli Neri S.p.A, ordered its first Damen tug, an ASD 3212, on 21 July 2015. The vessel will be the first ASD tug in

Activists Block Shell's Arctic Drilling Quest

Greenpeace protestors dangling from a bridge on Thursday in Portland, Oregon, halted an icebreaker that Royal Dutch Shell needs in northern Alaska before it can

MOL Wins Eco Awards in California

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. earned recognition from the ports of both Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, today, for its efforts to ensure compliance with

Finance

Shanghai 6th Best Shipping Center Globally

Shanghai has moved up the rankings of the world’s top shipping centers to sixth place, surpassing Dubai thanks to Free Trade Zone regulations and the Belt and Road Initiative,

Pacific Basin Returns to The Black

Pacific Basin Shipping cut its half-year underlying losses by 32 per cent to US$14.6 million from a year ago, thanks to stringent cost-cutting efforts that helped

Oceanteam Acquires Oceanwind

Oceanteam Shipping has acquired the remaining 48% stake in fellow Dutch firm Oceanwind and is now the sole owner of Oceanwind Cable Storage & Handling Solutions.

Environmental

Shell Moves Ahead in Arctic with Exploratory Well

Shell Oil's controversial icebreaker MSV Fennica weaved through nine remaining protesters hanging from the St. Johns Bridge and made its way toward the Pacific Ocean.

Activists Block Shell's Arctic Drilling Quest

Greenpeace protestors dangling from a bridge on Thursday in Portland, Oregon, halted an icebreaker that Royal Dutch Shell needs in northern Alaska before it can

Google Maps Goes Coastal with Unmanned Boat

A new high-tech unmanned vessel, launched with the help of Google, will use innovative technologies from the boatbuilding and mapping fields to map shorelines and

Energy

Fratelli Neri Orders Damen ASD 3212 Tug

One of the largest Italian tug owners, Fratelli Neri S.p.A, ordered its first Damen tug, an ASD 3212, on 21 July 2015. The vessel will be the first ASD tug in

Shell Moves Ahead in Arctic with Exploratory Well

Shell Oil's controversial icebreaker MSV Fennica weaved through nine remaining protesters hanging from the St. Johns Bridge and made its way toward the Pacific Ocean.

US Senate Energy Panel Votes to Lift Oil Export Ban

The U.S. Senate Energy Committee on Thursday passed a bill that would lift a decades-old ban on the export of crude oil.   The 22-member panel passed the bill

Vessels

Fratelli Neri Orders Damen ASD 3212 Tug

One of the largest Italian tug owners, Fratelli Neri S.p.A, ordered its first Damen tug, an ASD 3212, on 21 July 2015. The vessel will be the first ASD tug in

Three Rescued on Lake Tahoe

The Coast Guard and multiple agencies rescued three people Wednesday evening after they were reported missing on Lake Tahoe. At 9:45 p.m., Coast Guard Sector

More Vessels Call at Lerwick Port

The number of vessels using Lerwick Harbour in the first half of this year increased by 7% to 2,930, due mainly to more fishing boats compared to the same period

Government Update

Shell Moves Ahead in Arctic with Exploratory Well

Shell Oil's controversial icebreaker MSV Fennica weaved through nine remaining protesters hanging from the St. Johns Bridge and made its way toward the Pacific Ocean.

US Senate Energy Panel Votes to Lift Oil Export Ban

The U.S. Senate Energy Committee on Thursday passed a bill that would lift a decades-old ban on the export of crude oil.   The 22-member panel passed the bill

Legislation Introduced to Lift Cuba Embargo

A new piece of legislation, the Cuba Trade Act of 2015, was introduced in Congress Tuesday that aims to lift the Cuba embargo and allow for U.S. businesses in the

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1516 sec (7 req/sec)