This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 25, 2003

Report Finds Carbon Emissions Growing Despite Restrictions

Greenhouse gas emissions from developed countries are expected to increase by the end of this decade, according to a report released in early June by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The report anticipates that the combined greenhouse gas emissions from Europe, Japan, the United States, and other industrialized countries could grow by 8 percent from 2000 to 2010—to about 17 percent greater than 1990 levels—despite measures to limit emissions. Meanwhile, improving economies in central and eastern Europe will cause emissions from the developed world as a whole to increase 11 percent from 2000 to 2010, to about 10 percent above 1990 levels.

The news bodes poorly for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which requires developed countries to reduce their average emissions to 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012 at the latest. Although the United States does not intend to ratify the treaty, the Kyoto Protocol can still enter into force if the Russian Federation chooses to ratify it. See the UNFCC press release (PDF 29 KB) and report (PDF 88 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.