Global carbon emissions up 50 percent

London : Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have gone up by 49 percent over the last two decades to reach a staggering 10 billion tonnes in 2010.

Contributions to such emissions growth in 2010 were largest from China, the US, India, the Russian Federation and the European Union.

The new analysis by the Global Carbon Project, undertaken by the University of East Anglia and others, shows fossil fuel emissions went up by 5.9 percent in 2010 and by 49 percent since 1990 – the reference year for the Kyoto protocol.

Half of the emissions remained in the air, where CO2 concentration reached 389.6 parts per million. The remaining emissions were taken up by the ocean and land reservoirs, in almost equal proportions, the journal Nature Climate Change reports.

On average, fossil fuel emissions have risen by 3.1 percent each year between 2000 and 2010 – three times the rate of increase during the 1990s. They are projected to continue to increase by 3.1 percent in 2011, according to an East Anglia statement.

Rebounding from the global financial crisis of 2008-09 when emissions temporarily decreased, last year’s high growth was caused by both emerging and developed economies.

Rich countries continued to outsource part of their emissions to emerging economies through international trade.

Study co-author Pep Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon Project, added: “The global financial crisis has helped developed countries meet their production emission commitments as promised in the Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen Accord, but its impact has been short-lived and pre-existing challenges remain.”

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