Thursday, November 20, 2008

World Carbon Emissions Continue to Increase

Obama Won't Visit U.N. Climate Conference Before Taking Office

Carbon emissions from industrialized nations rose through the first six years of the 21st century, reversing a slackening in the 1990s caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to new figures from the United Nations. There was a slight plateau in 2006 that experts cautioned is unlikely to continue as a trend.

As of 2006, emissions from the industrialized nations stood 5% below the 1990 level, but emissions had increased 2.3% since 2000. Emissions in 2007 and 2008 aren't reflected in the totals, and neither are emissions from developing nations like China and India, which have risen quickly and now stand among the world's top sources of pollution.

Meanwhile, President-elect Barack Obama is not expected to attend the next U.N. meeting on global warming, in Poland, because President Bush will still be in office. The U.N. is working toward a new agreement, to be ratified in 2009, that would act as a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which was supposed to rein in carbon emissions from industrialized nations. The United States is the only major industrialized polluter not to have joined in the pact.

Obama did, however, meet with his former rival Republican Sen. John McCain, and climate change was reportedly one of the topics on which they discussed collaborating.

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