February 1, 2011

Global Recession Did Not Reduce CO2 Emissions

The deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression failed to reduce the amount of global greenhouse gas emissions, as falling industrial output in the West was counterbalanced by the rapid growth of China and other emerging markets, according to new data released Monday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Total global carbon emissions rose 5.2 percent in 2009 compared to 2006, the report showed, while U.S. carbon emissions fell 8.18 percent during that time.

US emissions fell substantially in 2009, to levels not seen since 1995-96. However, China's emissions skyrocketed, rising more than 13 percent over the previous year -- the equivalent of adding the annual emissions of Germany, Greece and Peru combined.

China's total emissions in 2009 were 4.7 times greater than France's, and more than twice the emissions of Germany.

India also saw a major increase of its CO2 emissions due in part to its increasing use of coal burning to generate power.  The nation's total CO2 emissions rose 24.9 percent between 2006 and 2009.

Meanwhile, emissions from Europe declined 8.6 percent during that time.

The EIA statistics included carbon dioxide emitted only by energy use, and excluded emissions from other sources such as methane from livestock and deforestation.


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