Global Warming Today: CO2 Increase In Europe, Decrease In America

So, how’s it going with those wonderful Kyoto signing countries in Europe? Apparently, there is a huge boom in low cost air travel in Europe, which leads to an interesting issue

At a time when airlines are already the fastest growing source of climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions — increasing nearly 5 percent a year according to a report last week from the European Environment Agency — the new low-cost industry is pumping a huge amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

It is also laying down an infrastructure that guarantees high emissions for years. Low-cost flights have spawned dozens of new pastel-colored, low-cost condominium developments catering to foreigners, which now line Murcia’s scraggly roads.

The growth in emissions from air travel had “far exceeded growth by any other mode,” a European Environment Agency report issued this year said. Between 1990 and 2005, the last full year from which data were available, total carbon dioxide emissions from aviation in the European Union grew by 73 percent.

“This could threaten the ability of the E.U. to meet increasingly ambitious emission reduction targets,” the report’s authors said.

Most European countries are already going to miss their targets even without adding the airlines increase into the mix. Way going to miss. Kyoto is great, isn’t it? Essentially, though, Kyoto was a feel good treaty which virtually no country is succeeding at following. Many are not even really trying.

One of the few countries that did not bother to join when it came out (who was President then, and wisely did not sign it?) is going the other way. Reason Magazine pulls this quote from a new EPA report

In 2006, total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were 7,201.9 Tg CO2 Eq. Overall, total U.S. emissions have risen by 14.1 percent from 1990 to 2006, while the U.S. gross domestic product has increased by 59 percent over the same period (BEA 2007). Emissions fell from 2005 to 2006, decreasing by 1.5 percent (111.8 Tg CO2 Eq.). The following factors were primary contributors to this decrease: (1) compared to 2005, 2006 had warmer winter conditions, which decreased consumption of heating fuels, as well as cooler summer conditions, which reduced demand for electricity, (2) restraint on fuel consumption caused by rising fuel prices, primarily in the transportation sector and (3) increased use of natural gas and renewables in the electric power sector.

If you search for what Europe is doing, reports vary anywhere from a 7.7% decrease to an 18% increase, among the less fanciful figures. America has actually been going down in CO2 output for around 6 years now, without being a signatury to Kyoto. The market is driving it, due mostly to companies voluntarily wanting to look good and tap into that “green” market, as well as simply better technology. In Europe, rather then letting the market drive it, they are passing more and more legislation to mandate compliance with the treaty they signed, and their economies grew much less then America’s. Funny how that works, eh?

Meanwhile, from the Missiah: Re-Engage with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change: The UNFCCC process is the main international forum dedicated to addressing the climate problem and an Obama administration will work constructively within it.

Say, Senator Neophyte, we are doing better then most around the world, without being a part of Kyoto, and without being an official part of the constant UN meetings in exotic vacation spots like Bali.

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One Response to “Global Warming Today: CO2 Increase In Europe, Decrease In America”

  1. John Ryan says:

    Germany has been able to have a 2% reduction, mostly through efficiencies.

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