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 September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

Hyundai Heavy Plummets to Worse Loss Ever

South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd, the world's biggest shipbuilder, slid to a record quarterly loss of $1.8 billion and warned it's heading for its

Danaos Corp. 3Q & 9M Results

Danaos Corporation, a leading international owner of containerships, today reported unaudited results for the period ended September 30, 2014. Highlights for

US Natgas Exports Would Raise Energy Prices but Boost Economy

Expanded U.S. liquefied natural gas exports would mean a modest price increase for domestic consumers, but the higher costs would be offset by a boost to the economy, the U.

Environmental

Monitoring U.S. Troops Returning from Ebola Mission

Secretary Hagel has signed an order that validated a recommendation from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to place all U.S. military service members returning from

Eurodam Tops in USPH Inspections

Holland America Line’s ms Eurodam achieved a perfect score of 100 on a recent routine United States Public Health (USPH) inspection conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Aquarius MAS with Marine Solar Power Installed on Delos

Eco Marine Power together with strategic partners has installed an Aquarius Management & Automation System (MAS) integrated with a marine solar panel array on-board the Blue Star 'Delos'.

Energy

Danny Broad Appointed to ARENA Board

The Chair, Board members and staff of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) are delighted to advise that Danny Broad has been appointed by the Australian Government to the Board of ARENA.

First Libra Offshore Oil Well Confirms Discovery

Libra consortium reports that drilling the first well in the area extension of Libra, the 3-BRSA-1255-RJS (3-RJS-731), confirmed the discovery of good quality

Maersk Interceptor Named in Norway

In a ceremony held at GMC Marine Partners yard in Mekjarvik in Norway, Mrs. Anita Utseth, Senior Vice President in Det norske oljeselskab ASA (Det norske) had

Vessels

Maersk Interceptor Named in Norway

In a ceremony held at GMC Marine Partners yard in Mekjarvik in Norway, Mrs. Anita Utseth, Senior Vice President in Det norske oljeselskab ASA (Det norske) had

Eurodam Tops in USPH Inspections

Holland America Line’s ms Eurodam achieved a perfect score of 100 on a recent routine United States Public Health (USPH) inspection conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fincantieri & Vittoria Shipyard Join Forces

During the 24th edition of Euronaval, the most prestigious event in the world for naval defense, Fincantieri, one of the major shipbuilding groups worldwide, and Vittoria Shipyard,

Government Update

First Libra Offshore Oil Well Confirms Discovery

Libra consortium reports that drilling the first well in the area extension of Libra, the 3-BRSA-1255-RJS (3-RJS-731), confirmed the discovery of good quality

Monitoring U.S. Troops Returning from Ebola Mission

Secretary Hagel has signed an order that validated a recommendation from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to place all U.S. military service members returning from

EU Says No Deal Yet in Ukraine-Russia Gas Talks

The European Commission cancelled a news conference planned to follow talks between Russia and Ukraine on gas supplies on Wednesday, saying negotiations in Brussels

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1215 sec (8 req/sec)