NZ carbon emissions hit 13-year low
Mon, 03 Dec 2012 10:06a.m.
New Zealand has recorded its lowest carbon dioxide emission count from burning fossil fuel in 13 years, according to new figures released in Britain.
In 2011, NZ emitted 31 million tonnes of carbon, equal to 7.1 tonnes per person, researchers at the University of East Anglia found.
The figures place NZ in a band of countries, including several from the European Union, which are in the process of adopting alternate methods of energy generation.
"While NZ is well-placed in this latest global assessment ... what is lacking at the moment is innovation in technology and policy which could drive emissions down further," director of the university's Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Corinne Le Quere told NZN.
"Low-carbon technology requires investment up front and the role of legislation in that is extremely important.
"Agricultural emissions, methane, are an area (NZ) could look at to introduce new practices."
The new data, published on Monday as part of a report in online journal Nature Climate Change, named China (28 percent), the United States (16 percent), the European Union (11 percent) and India (seven percent) as the biggest contributors to global carbon emissions.
NZ's contribution to the 2011 global total was 0.09 percent, researchers found.
However, while emissions in China and India grew, the increases did not match booming population growth. The US and EU posted a reduction on 2010 figures.
Report authors warned the world will experience a record high 35.6 billion tonnes of carbon output in 2012.
The projected 2.6 percent increase on 2011 takes output from burning fossil fuels to 58 percent above 1990 levels, the baseline year for the Kyoto Protocol.
"With emissions continuing to grow, it's as if no one is listening to the entire scientific community," Prof Le Quere said.
"I am worried that the risks of dangerous climate change are too high on our current emissions trajectory. We need a radical plan."
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4/12/2012 3:38:07 a.m.
Jack Wolf wrote:
I have noticed for several years that most climate change reports and scientific papers use a less than realistic emission scenarios in their calculations. Since these emissions are long lived, this has led to a deepening concern about the climate situation and it’s impacts today, in my lifetime, now.
This important talk by Dr. Anderson (below) at this year's Cabot Lecture clearly points the finger at scientists for not accurately reporting how bad the climate situation is. He also explains why we cannot meet the 2 degree C (3.8 F) target set by the world’s government and its impacts on us today. His talk is timely in light of this week’s paper from the World Bank that found:
"Even with the current mitigation pledges fully implemented, there is roughly a 20% likelihood of exceeding 4°C by 2100. If they are not met, warming of 4°C could occur as early as the 2060s."
Globally, we are nowhere close to meeting our mitigation pledges and long lived CO2 emissions continue to accumulate in the atmosphere at an accelerating rate. It’s like civilization has collectively said: Fuc it. Dr. Anderson is very animated and I think you will find it enlightening.
3/12/2012 10:36:49 a.m.
We need to dump the per capita measure as adding people does not clean up the enviroment, so why do we use a per capita measure at all?Why do we use base line of 1990 as this protects the worst carbon polluters in the world - like Germany.If we set a carbon tax at a level of say 200 tonne per sq km, and applied it to the world this would require countries to clean up, or pay. A filthy carbon polluter like Germany would be looking towards 1.5 trillion in carbon tax while the UK not far behind around 1 trillion. Emission taxes that high sure would encourage them to clean up and reduce their emissions.The reality is, for all the bought parties, Kyoto Protocl protects the rights of the worst polluters to pollute at the expense of the rest of the world.If we set a sq km emission rate, China/USSR/USA would all sign up, because they all actually have lower emission levels than the filthy EU emitters which currently benefits the most from Kyoto Protocol.
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