Monday, 13 June 2011

Human activity emissions surge

Sydney Morning Herald
31 May 2011, Page: 1

GLOBAL greenhouse gas emissions from human activity have spiralled to their highest level, meaning there is now little hope of holding temperature rises below 2°, the International Energy Agency has revealed. Emissions fell slightly during the global financial crisis but surged back to an estimated 30.6 billion tonnes last year.

The trajectory is now veering away from the path agreed at the most recent United Nations climate conference in Cancun, which guarantees that talks will be fraught at the next meeting, in Durban, South Africa, in November.

"This significant increase in CO₂ emissions and the locking in of future emissions due to infrastructure investments represent a serious setback to our hopes of limiting the global rise in temperature to no more than 2°", the agency's chief economist, Fatih Birol, said in a statement. Burning coal was responsible for 44% of human emissions last year, oil for 36% and natural gas 20%, the report said.