China, India "nullify" CO2 emission cuts by rich nations

A Dutch environment report blames high growth in China, India for rise in carbon emissions.

Last Updated: Jul 02, 2010, 16:00 PM IST

London: In a relief to the industrialised
nations, a Dutch environment report has blamed high growth in
China and India for the rise in carbon emissions, saying they
have "completely nullified" the reductions achieved by rich
nations.

The global CO2 emissions have remained constant in
2009 despite the economic crisis slowing down the growth
trajectory of many countries, Netherlands Environment
Assessment Agency (PBL) said in a report yesterday.

The agency, which had identified that China`s carbon
emissions in 2006 had overshot that of the US, making it the
world`s largest polluter, attributed the 2009 trend to an
offset effect by China and India.

"... strong increases in CO2 emissions from
fast-growing developing countries, such as China and India,
have completely nullified CO2 emission reductions in the
industrialised world," the report said.

The figures will come as a relief to the world`s rich
countries, which, apart from the US, are legally committed to
reducing emissions by a collective 5.2 per cent on 1990
figures by 2012, the report said. This is for the first time
since 1992 that the emissions of the main greenhouse gas have
remained constant.

The PBL`s report "No growth in total global CO2
emissions in 2009" is based on calculations on recent data
from sources including data on energy use from oil company
British Petroleum (BP), on cement production from the US
Geological Survey (USGS), and on the latest version of the
Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR).

The calculations show that emissions from fossil-fuel
combustion in the industrial countries have decreased by seven
per cent. But in China and India, they actually increased by
nine and six per cent respectively.

The report trashes earlier projections by the
International Energy Agency (IEA) predicting an emission
decrease for 2009 of 2.6 per cent ? the largest in 40 years.

While the industrialised nations seem to be on course
to achieve the Kyoto Protocol targets -- aided in part by the
meltdown -- the fast growing economies have been unable to
rein in emissions.

However, "a large part of production capacity that has
been suspended (due to the economic crisis), could be
re-employed as soon as the economy improves," it says.

Both China and India had pledged ambitious target cuts
ahead of last year`s Copenhagen climate change summit.

While Beijing promised to curb its emission intensity
by 40 to 45 per cent by 2020, India announced a target
reduction of 20-25 per cent by 2020 on the 2005 levels.

The report also pointed out that although there have
been strong increases in emissions in countries such as China
and India, their average CO2 emissions per inhabitant, in
2009, were still below those in industrial countries.

PTI