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CO2 emissions climb to all-time high

In 2010, the worlds’ nations emitted a record 30.6 gigatonnes of carbon-dioxide, according to the latest estimates by the International Energy Agency.

CO2 emissions last year were 5% above the previous record year in 2008, the IEA says. In 2009, emissions had slightly dipped below 29 gigatonnes as a result of the global economic crisis.

“Our latest estimates are another wake-up call,” Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the IEA said on announcing the figures.

“The world has edged incredibly close to the level of emissions that should not be reached until 2020 if the 2ºC target is to be attained. Given the shrinking room for manœuvre in 2020, unless bold and decisive decisions are made very soon, it will be extremely challenging to succeed in achieving this global goal agreed in Cancun.”

The IEA estimates that 40% of global emissions came from OECD countries in 2010, but these (developed) countries only accounted for 25% of emissions growth compared to 2009. Non-OECD countries – in particular China and India – accounted for the bulk of last year’s emission growth.

In Europe, meanwhile, energy analysts fear that the German government’s decision, announced today, to phase out the use of nuclear power by 2022, may lead to additional emissions from coal and gas-produced energy.

Governments are set to resume faltering negotiations over a global climate deal at a United Nations meeting starting next week in Bonn, Germany.


  1. Report this comment

    alan fotoe said:

    you did’nt really think we could decrease CO-2 emissions.. did you.. not going to happen,, till it’s to late.. fotoeguy

  2. Report this comment

    Stuart said:

    It will be very interesting to see the outcome from the United Nations meeting next week. I believe CO2 emissions can be lowered in the future BUT this can only be acheived with a united effort.

    A world leaders meeting last year in Cancun was noted as a ‘wake up call’ …How many of these wake up calls are needed before there is a positive move forward in battling CO2 emission growth worldwide?!

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    vyzaq said:

    The irony of giving more importance to the delicacy of our economy than our home planet and all those even more fragile ecosystems in it, is the biggest mistake that we as humans r making.. The reason for this is even now, we r only thinking and evaluating the effects instead of acting.. The future of earth as a life sustaining planet is still a secondary topic for all the governments of the world.. And as such, the common people are still totally ignorant about the importance of this ´pale blue dot´,Which is the only place where life as we know it can thrive, at least till date..

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    Maxime said:

    The most worrying is that it seems that more and more people don’t trust the media and environmental agencies anymore, all the more since the failure of the Copenhagen summit. I am currently working in carbon management company in South Africa (…… and more and more people come up with stuff like “Why should we reduce our ghg emissions when volcanoes are responsible for more CO2 emissions than human activities?”. I don’t know where people hear that but i suspect anti-ecologist to be behind such statements. I did some research and volcanoes are responsible for 200 million tons of emissions whereas human activities represent 30 billion tons. I hope that the media will cover such questions more accurately, so that people become really aware of the problem.

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    Jennifer said:

    It seems to me personally that there is just way, way too much debate about global warming and that’s kind of the point. Regardless of whether we have directly increased the average temperature or slowed it down from being even hotter, there is little doubt that we are seriously impacting our environment through CO2. When you look at the obviousness of that point and realize that our planet does not have infinite resources, we have to take better care of what we do have.

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