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EU CO2 emissions drop 7.7 percent from 1990 levels: EAA

by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) June 20, 2008
Greenhouse gas emissions from the European Union dropped 7.7 percent from 1990 to 2006, even as the use of carbon dioxide-intensive coal increased, the European Environment Agency said Friday.

If the EU maintains this pace, it would very nearly fulfill its Kyoto commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by eight percent compared to 1990 levels before 2012, the Copenhagen-based Agency said in an annual report.

The year 1990 is a benchmark for the Kyoto Protocol, a legally binding treaty that obliges industrialised countries which have signed and ratified it to trim their output of six carbon gases.

The emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), produced mainly by the burning of fossil fuels, remained stable across the EU's 27 nations in 2006 compared to the year before.

But heavier use of coal for power and heat production resulted in an increase of 15.4 million tonnes of CO2 from this sector in 2006.

Poland alone accounted for an increment of 7.6 million tonnes of coal-generated emissions.

Denmark and Finland turned in the biggest relative increase in greenhouse gas emissions, 10.9 and 16.3 percent respectively, also due to an increase in the burning of coal to generate power.

EU-15 nations cut emissions by 0.8 percent -- some 35 million tonnes -- in 2006, accounting for 81 percent of the EU total.

The net reduction in 2006 of greenhouse gases for the EU-27 was due mainly to lower emission of nitrous oxide produced by chemical plants, the report concluded.

Above and beyond its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, the EU has unilaterally set a goal of reducing the gases that drive global warming 20 percent by 2020, measured against the 1990 benchmark.

Under the Kyoto rules, the EU must report the emissions for each greenhouse gas from every member state on an annual basis.

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Urgent Need For New Computer Models To Address Climate Change
Princeton NJ (SPX) Jun 20, 2008
Two papers published in the journal Science by Microsoft Research ecologist Drew Purves together with research colleagues at Princeton University and universities in Madrid, Spain, highlight how an improved understanding of forest dynamics is needed to better predict environmental change.

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