Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Richest Countries Failing to Combat Climate Change

The growth in vehicle numbers has outweighed the benefits of better engine efficiency. (Credit: Ji-Elle, Wikimedia Commons via Climate News Network) Click to enlarge.
The world’s richest countries have made some progress since the 1990s in limiting environmental damage.  But they have not done enough to prevent catastrophic climate change, according to the OECD, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Scientists say that carbon dioxide emissions need to start going down in the next decade to prevent global temperatures reaching dangerous levels. But the OECD predicts that levels of carbon dioxide will continue to rise and by 2050 will be 50 percent higher than today.

The 34 OECD countries in the survey are mainly the older mature economies which in the 1970s produced well over half the world’s CO2 emissions from their factories and transport.  Now the OECD share of total world emissions has dropped to 30 percent, but only because of the vast increase in the energy use of China and other high-growth countries like Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia and South Africa.  These now account for 40 percent of global emissions on their own.

Richest Countries Failing to Combat Climate Change

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