November 17, 2005

Rich nations’ greenhouse gas emissions may rise: UN

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - Rich nations' emissions of gases blamed
for global warming risk rebounding in coming years after
falling overall since 1990 amid the collapse of Soviet-era
industries, United Nations data showed on Thursday.

Compared to 1990, the greenhouse gas emissions of 40
developed nations including former Communist states were down
5.9 percent by 2003, slightly exceeding a goal of a cut of 5.2
percent by 2008-12 set by the U.N.'s Kyoto protocol.

"Further efforts are required to sustain these reductions
and to cut the emissions further," the Bonn-based Secretariat
of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), of
which Kyoto is a part, said in a report.

It projected that emissions could rise by 10.6 percent
above 1990 levels by 2010, cautioning that most of the overall
reductions dated from the early 1990s when smokestack
industries in the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe shut

"Greenhouse gas projections indicate the possibility of
emission growth by 2010. It means that ensuring sustained and
deeper emission reductions remains a challenge for developed
countries," said Richard Kinley, acting head of the

A U.N. meeting in Montreal, Canada, from Nov 28-Dec 9 will
review Kyoto and ways to widen it to non-participants including
the United States and developing nations like China and India
when it runs out in 2012.

Many scientists say that a build-up of greenhouse gases --
from power plants, factories and cars -- are driving up
temperatures and could cause catastrophic climate changes with
more storms, floods, deserts and rising sea levels.

According to the UNFCCC data, Lithuania had made the
deepest cuts at 66.2 percent below 1990 levels in 2003,
followed by Baltic neighbors Latvia on 58.5 percent and Estonia
on 50.8 percent.

Among other countries below 1990 levels, Russia's emissions
were down 38.5 percent, Germany's down 18.2 percent, Britain's
down 13.0 percent and France's down 1.9 percent.

At the other end of the scale, Spain was furthest above
target with a 41.7 percent rise in emissions above 1990 in
2003, followed by Monaco at 37.8 percent, Portugal 36.7
percent, Greece 25.8 and Ireland 25.6 percent.

The United States, which pulled out of Kyoto in 2001 after
President George W. Bush said it was too expensive and wrongly
excluded poor nations from the first round of cuts, was 11th
furthest above target at 13.3 percent above 1990 levels.

The data was part of a new publication by the UNFCCC on
greenhouse gas data from 40 developed nations and 121
developing nations.

Among developing nations, some of which have submitted data
for several years, the UNFCCC said emissions fell in 14 nations
and rose in 15 among 29 countries reporting figures for both
1994 and 1990.

The biggest rise was in Paraguay with a 114 percent rise
and the biggest fall in Cuba, of 40 percent.