Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kyoto Accord in Action

From the UK's Department of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs:


* It is provisionally estimated that, in 2006, emissions of the total 'basket' of six greenhouse gases1 covered by the Kyoto Protocol were around 15 per cent below the base year, down from 775.2 to 658.1 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent. (The base year is 1990 for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, and 1995 for fluorinated compounds.) To meet its commitment to the Protocol, the UK has agreed to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 121/2 per cent relative to the base year over the period 2008-2012.

* Net emissions of carbon dioxide during the year have provisionally been estimated at around 560.6 million tonnes, about 51/4 per cent lower than the 1990 level of 592.1 million tonnes. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas, accounting for around 84 per cent of all emissions in the "basket" in 2005, the latest year for which final results are available.

* The provisional estimate of 2006 carbon dioxide emissions is around 11/4 per cent higher than the 2005 figure. This increase was primarily as a result of fuel switching from natural gas to coal for electricity generation. This has also resulted in an estimated increase of 1/2 per cent in emissions from the total basket of gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol for the year.

* Aside from the Kyoto target, the UK aims to move towards its own domestic goal of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010. Under the Government's Climate Change Bill, which is currently at draft stage, it is now also proposed that the UK puts itself on a path towards a legally binding target of a 60 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions below 1990 levels by 2050. The Bill also incorporates an interim requirement of a reduction of between 26 and 32 per cent over the period 2018-2022.

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