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Emissions to Rise in 2011 Despite Recession

By January 1, 2011February 20th, 2013Emissions

January 1, 2011 CO2 A researcher at the University of Exeter in the UK leads a team that has published a paper in Nature Geoscience about projections for 2011 CO2 emissions.  Based on emissions declines during the recession and projections of economic out put for 2011, the team has found that CO2 emissions will likely return to the level of emissions before the recession at about 3% per year. Their reasoning is that emissions fell only a relatively small amount in the developed world and in developing nations with economic out put it did not fall at all.  the following is from a University of Exeter press release:

What we find is a drop in emissions from fossil fuels in 2009 of 1.3%, which is not dramatic,” lead researcher Pierre Friedlingstein from the UK’s University of Exeter told the state-funded BBC. “Based on GDP projections last year, we were expecting much more,” he added. “If you think about it, it’s like four days’ worth of emissions; it’s peanuts,” he said. Figures showed that emissions in Japan fell by 11.8%, in the UK by 8.6%, and in Germany by 7% — whereas the emissions continued to rise in developing countries with significant industrial output. China’s emissions, for instance, grew by 8%, and India’s by 6.2%.  Professor  Friedlingstein also said: "The 2009 drop in CO2 emissions is less than half that anticipated a year ago. This is because the drop in world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was less than anticipated and the carbon intensity of world GDP, which is the amount of CO2 released per unit of GDP, improved by only 0.7 per cent in 2009 – well below its long-term average of 1.7% per year." The poor improvements in carbon intensity were caused by an increased share of fossil-fuel CO2 emissions produced by emerging economies with a relatively high carbon intensity, and an increasing reliance on coal. The study projects that if economic growth proceeds as expected, global fossil fuel emissions will increase by more than 3% in 2010, approaching the high emissions growth rates observed through 2000 to 2008.

Friedlingstein, et. al., Update on CO2 emissions. Nature Geoscience, 21 November 2010 DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1022

University of Exeter Press Release