Page last updated at 22:48 GMT, Monday, 17 November 2008

Emissions up in developed nations

By Roger Harrabin
Environment analyst, BBC News

Smoke billows from Germany's Frimmersdorf power plant on 25 February 2008
Industrialised nations' emissions are up since 2000, despite promised cuts

Emissions of greenhouse gases by industrialised nations rose 2.3% from 2000 to 2006, according to new figures from the UN's climate change agency.

The biggest increases were in the former Soviet bloc - and Canada.

A UN spokesman said countries had to work much faster to avoid the possibility of dangerous climate change.

Next month the nations of the world meet in Poland for the annual negotiations on climate change.

The new figures do not offer a great deal of optimism.

They show that in 2006 emissions did actually fall by 0.1%, but the UN's climate change secretariat said that this tiny dip was statistically insignificant.

The overall underlying trend since 2000 is up, even though the countries in question had promised to cut their emissions.

The worst culprit has been Canada. Its emissions since 1990 have shot up 21.3% - they should have fallen 6%.

Recently the biggest rise was recorded by the Eastern European bloc, with emissions up 7.4% since the turn of the century.

The UK is one of the few countries on track with emissions targets.

But a recent report to the British government suggested that even UK emissions were heading in the wrong direction if pollution from shipping and aviation, and the carbon embedded in the imported goods coming into the country, were counted.



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