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'Environment paid for economic recovery'

business Updated: Nov 08, 2011 00:19 IST
Chetan Chauhan

After a dip for two years, the climate change causing carbon emissions rose by 5% in 2010 with India and China being the biggest contributors indicating a global economic recovery, a study released by European Commission states.

The report sponsored by European Union, which comes before the global climate conference in Durban in November end, admits that the emissions from the developed world, especially United States and European Union, grew by almost 3 to 4% in 2010.

Carbon emissions by US and European Union - world's biggest emitters - had dipped by 7-12% in 2009 because of economic slowdown and the increase indicates the recovery from the slow down.

Although the study points out that maximum emission growth was witnessed by China (10%) followed by India (9%) it failed to indicate that emissions of rich nations has, in fact, increased by 10-15% in 2010 if the dip in 2009 is considered.

"It (the study) indicates that not only have emissions increased substantially in 2010 in China and India…but also in most of the other major economies such as European Union, USA, Japan and Russia," the study said.

The 5% annual increase in emission, biggest in the last two decades, is similar to one in 1976 when the global economy was recovering from first oil crisis and subsequent stock market crash.

The report says that since 2003, China's emissions have also doubled and Indian emissions have increased by 60% due to industrialization and higher consumption of fossil fuels, mainly coal.

The per capita emission of world most populated nation China was close to that of rich world and that of India has almost doubled since 1990. The report says that China's per capita emissions would be more than that of Americans by 2017, if the present emission growth continues. Despite that, China and India are still far behind.

World’s largest emitters
Per capita carbon emissions
United States
16.9 tonnes per annum
15.8 tonnes per annum
Saudi Arabia
12.9 tonnes per annum
South Korea
12.3 tonnes per annum
10.8 tonnes per annum
10.1 tonnes per annum
6.8 tonnes per annum
2 tonnes per annum
1.5 tonnes per annum

Other developing countries such as Brazil (12%) and South Korea (9%) had also witnessed high emission growth meaning that the share of the developing world in global annual emissions has increased from 29% in 1990 to 43% in 2010.

Under the existing climate treaty, Kyoto Protocol, which imposes emission reduction targets for the development world and voluntary mitigation for rich nations, 1990 is the base year for meeting the targets. The report says all rich nations including US, which did not ratify Kyoto Protocol, was on course to meet the emission reduction target stipulated under the protocol.