Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

EU Way Off Course For Meeting Kyoto Targets Say Latest Figures

Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Richard Ingham
Paris (AFP) Jun 22, 2006
New data published Thursday showed the European Union (EU) remains embarrassingly off track for meeting its pledges under the Kyoto Protocol, the UN climate-change pact it championed after a US walkout.

Instead of falling, EU greenhouse-gas pollution actually rose in the latest year of monitoring, adding to the task of meeting the Kyoto goals, according to figures released by the European Environment Agency (EAA) in Copenhagen.

"Despite the various policy initiatives, this report highlights that the trend is still going in the wrong direction," declared EAA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade.

"Europe must implement all planned policies and measures relating to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions," said McGlade.

She warned that EU members needed to take "ambitious" steps when crafting the next phase of their Emissions Trading System (ETS), a Kyoto mechanism designed to reduce pollution by big industry.

The EU-15 has pledged to reduce emissions by eight percent by 2012 as compared with a benchmark of 1990.

But between 2003 and 2004, emissions rose by 0.3 percent, or 11.5 million tonnes, marking the second annual year of increase, the EAA said in its annual report. Emissions in 2004 were just 0.6 percent lower than the base year of 1990 -- more than four percentage points adrift of where they should have been by that time.

For the EU-25, after the "Big Bang" membership enlargement, the increase was 0.4 percent in 2004, or 18 million tonnes, over 2003.

"An increase of 0.4 percent may appear small; however, the magnitude of GHG (greenhouse-gas emissions) is such that the actual increase is significant," said McGlade. "(It) is comparable to the amount of CO2 emissions released by three million people if they were to drive their cars around the world."

The EU saved Kyoto from collapse after the United States abandoned the treaty, then still in draft form, in March 2001 in one of President George W. Bush's first acts in office.

The pact requires industrialised countries that have ratified it to trim outputs of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases that trap solar heat and could wreak havoc with the planet's delicate climate system.

Making these cuts can carry a significant cost, in making equipment more fuel-efficient and cleaner or in weaning an economy away from dirty fossil fuels and converting it to renewable sources, which is why Bush walked out.

The EAA report makes these points:

-- Road transport contributed most to the increase, accounting for a rise of 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) among the EU-15. Iron and steel makers were also culprits, upping their CO2 pollution by eight million tonnes.

-- Spain and Italy had the biggest GHG rise, with 4.8 and 0.9 percent respectively. Spain switched to fossil fuels after the 2003 drought hit power from hydro. Italy emitted more through oil refining and road transport.

-- Germany, Denmark and Finland did best, seeing reductions of GHGs of 0.9 percent, 8.1 percent and 4.9 percent respectively. Germany offset a rise from the iron and steel sector by big reductions in CO2 in households and services. Denmark and Finland made further moves to switch from fossils to hydro in electricity production.

Friends of the Earth Europe reacted bitterly.

"Europes governments make grand statements about their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas pollution," it said.

"Yet economy and industry ministers continue to block or water down policy measures to switch to renewable energies, reduce energy waste or introduce fuel consumption standards for cars."

The report is the second bad jolt for the EU's Kyoto ambitions in less than two months.

In April, the ETS, a "carbon market" where companies buy and sell quotas of CO2 under the EU's cap-and-trade system, went into a tailspin. It emerged that some national governments had been hugely over-generous in allocating these firms pollution quotas in the first phase of the scheme.

The EAA report is sent to Kyoto's parent body, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), under clauses requiring signatories to provide an annual inventory of man-made GHGs.

Its sources are national governments, although the data is also reviewed by the European Commission and the EAA.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
the missing link

Sri Lanka To Register Satellite Phone Users And Regulate Satellite TV
Colombo (AFP) Jun 22, 2006
Sri Lanka Thursday announced plans to register users of satellite telephones and regulate satellite television broadcasts amid the worsening unrest on the island. Telecommunications Regulator Kanchana Ratwatte said President Mahinda Rajapakse has ordered the formulation of laws to regulate all satellite-based television broadcasters and phone service providers, including widely available Thuraya phones.

  • Military Police Arrive To Combat Crime In New Orleans
  • Carmanah Unveils World's Most Versatile Solar Powered Airfield Light
  • National Guard To Return To New Orleans To Fight Crime
  • US Not Prepared For Catastrophe Finds Official Report

  • End Of 20th Century Warmest In 400 Years Finds US Report
  • Experts Urge Better Management And Information About Desert Spread
  • Experts Call On World Leaders To Curb Advancing Deserts
  • Global Warming And Deserts Are A Double-Edged Sword

  • Medspiration Charts All Med Water Temperatures
  • GeoEye Awarded Airport Mapping Database Contract
  • NGOs Using Satellite Imagery To Plan Agriculture Relief Efforts
  • ESA And Spot Image Set Precedence With Data Sharing

  • EU Way Off Course For Meeting Kyoto Targets Say Latest Figures
  • World Energy Consumption Could Be Cut By Half If Clean Technology Applied
  • China Offers Model For Sustainable City
  • Coast Guard Gets Wind Farm Power

  • Chinese Scientists Ask US Journal To Withdraw Letter On Human Bird Flu
  • Indonesia Sees 39th Bird Flu Death
  • China Reports New Bird Flu Outbreak
  • High Virulence Of HIV-1 Might Be An Accident Of Evolution

  • Some Scientists Oppose Darwinian Evolution And Supporting Science
  • Coral Death Results From Bacteria Fed By Algae
  • Panda Population Far Higher Than Expected Scientists
  • Researchers Offer Clues To How Leaves Patterns Are Formed

  • Chemical Blast In Eastern China Kills 14
  • Blast At China Chemical Factory Raises Pollution Fears
  • Coal Tar Spillage Contaminates Northern Chinese River
  • Sandia Tool Speeds Up Environmental Cleanup, Reopening Of Contaminated Facilities

  • GOP Voters Want Immigration Bill This Year
  • Satellite Guidance For The Visually Impaired
  • Green Tea And The Asian Paradox
  • To Profit Or Explore Might Be The Meaning Of Life

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement