CO2 Emissions Rose 2% in 2008, Despite Recession - We're On Target for 6°C Temperature Rise


photo: Steve via flickr.

Here are two sobering thoughts: 1) New research shows that despite last year's global recession total CO2 emissions still climbed 2% in 2008; and, 2) the Global Carbon Project adds, without strong action in Copenhagen we won't be able to stabilize temperatures in "a smooth and organized way" and that its five or six degrees Celsius warming that we're in for: Backing up that assertion (made to the BBC by GCP lead scientist Corinne Le Quere, is data that sows between 2000-2008 emissions rose 29%.

Developing Nations Lead Emissions Growth...
Interestingly, all of that came from developing nations, but one quarter of it came from goods manufactured specifically for consumption in developed countries.

...Manufacturing Goods for Developed World
In China, 50% of its emission growth came from manufacturing goods for export.

Looking at the UK, emissions within national borders dropped 5% from 1992 to 2004, but the emissions from goods and services consumed within those borders rose by 12% as greater amounts of goods get produced in developing nations.

New World Average Per Capita Emissions: 1.3 Tons
Back to last year's emissions: Mongabay puts a slightly different spin on the same research, highlighting that despite the global economic recession emissions in 2008 rose 2% to 8.7 billion tons of CO2, mainly because of increasing use of coal.

That new figure means global average per capita emissions are 1.3 tons per person. According the GCP research, to constrain temperature rise to 2°C, we've got to drop that to 0.3 tons per person by 2050.

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What Are Yours...
Remember that the US average tops 20 tons per person, with figures for California, New York and some other places (not to mention those in Europe) being in the 10 ton range. No matter how you parse it, too high to be ecologically sustainable.

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Tags: Carbon Emissions | China | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Causes