Thursday, September 25, 2008

Carbon emissions rising faster than expected: report

ABC News Online, Posted 2 hours 59 minutes ago 

Updated 2 hours 37 minutes ago

A new report has revealed a dramatic rise in the growth rate of carbon dioxide emissions since 2000.

The report by the international Global Carbon Project (GCP) team shows a four-fold increase in the rate of emissions.

Carbon emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels and land use changes reached almost 10 billion tonnes in 2007.

CSIRO scientist and GCP executive director Dr Pep Canadell says the trend is concerning in light of global efforts to curb emissions.

"Econom[ies] have grown substantially and at the same time we've been saying we're doing all sorts of different things to address climate change and reduce emissions," he said.

"So it comes a little as a shock when you look at the measurements and compare what happened in 1990 and what has been happening in 2000 is so strikingly different."

The report found Australia's fossil fuel emissions have grown by 2 per cent each year since 2000.

GCP co-chair and CSIRO scientist Dr Michael Raupach says Australia is unique among developed countries because its emissions are rapidly growing.

"For Australia to achieve a 2020 fossil fuel emissions target 10 per cent lower than 2000 levels - the target referred to by Professor Garnaut this month - we would require a reduction in emissions from where they are now by 1.5 per cent per year," he said.

"Every year of continuing growth makes the future reduction requirement even steeper."

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