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September 2, 2014
Friday, April 25, 2014

Rich nations' greenhouse gas emissions fall in 2012

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.

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 UN's climate change convention.

US emissions fell 3.4 percent in 2012 to 6.5 billion tonnes, the lowest since 1994, the US 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.
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Tags:  gas emissions  UN  rich nations  US  greenhouse  





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