A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Emission impossible - it's known as economic growth, folks.....

The Kyoto Protocol to date (key selected countries):

Australia: not ratified Kyoto;

Brazil: no Kyoto targets;

Canada: to date, emissions have risen by 20% on 1990-levels;

China: no Kyoto targets;

Denmark: currently a rise in CO2 emissions of 6%, 27% off 2010 target;

Greece: projected to be emitting 38.6% more CO2 on 1990-levels by 2010;

India: no Kyoto targets;

Ireland: projected to be emitting 29.4% more CO2 on 1990-levels by 2010

Japan: CO2 emissions have (eponymously) currently risen by between 8%-12.1% on 1990-levels;

New Zealand: emissions now expected to be some 30 million tonnes over Kyoto target;

Portugal: projected to be emitting 53.1% more CO2 on 1990-levels by 2010;

Spain: projected to be emitting 48.3% more CO2 on 1990-levels by 2010;

Switzerland: this week predicted that it will be short of its Kyoto target by at least 2.5 million tons;

US: not ratified Kyoto.....

..... And why should it? As I wrote yesterday in a tentative 'Letter to the Editor':
"Sir, Constant European chiding of the US for failing to reduce CO2 emissions will cut no ice. Despite having signed up to the Kyoto Protocol, most European countries are embarrassingly far from attaining their own emission targets, often by more than 30%. The latest statistics are for Denmark, which, according to the EU Burden Sharing Agreement, is legally bound to reduce emissions by 21% but which has increased emissions by 6.2%. Why should America heed so hypocritical a Europe? Of course, there is another interpretation of such rises, namely that they are proxy measures of much-needed economic growth."

As one well-known environmental commentator put it (or words and sighs to this effect) on a 'Today' programme some time back: "But it won't happen will it. So why waste so much political energy on it?"

A warning the heavily over-extended Mr. Blair should heed.

Philip, off to the Great Wen to host a Summer Garden Party. Pimms all round. The first really warm day of summer. Short sleeves and poppy frocks abounding. Cooler again (of course) by the Monday wash - "So much dirty washing from that Mr. Kyoto, Prof. P." "Don't worry, Mr. Toad, you'll be out of gaol and driving that new SUV soon." "Poop! Poop!"

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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