From: Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM, More from this Affiliate
Published November 7, 2011 09:24 AM

Last year's greenhouse gas emissions topple worst-case scenario

Global carbon emissions last year exceeded worst-case scenario predictions from just four years before, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). A rise of 6 percent (564 million additional tons) over 2009 levels was largely driven by three nations: the US, India, and China. Emissions from burning coal jumped 8 percent overall. The new data, supported by a similar report from International Energy Agency (IEA), makes it even more difficult for nations to make good on a previous pledge to hold back the world from warming over 2 degrees Celsius.


"We are building up a horrible legacy for our children and grandchildren," Granger Morgan, head of the engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, told the Associated Press.

According to the DOE's data, China made up nearly a quarter (24.6 percent) of global emissions, while the US comprised 16.4 percent and India 6.2 percent. However, the data only includes carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement, and does not include other major sources of greenhouse gases such as deforestation and land-use changes. If these were included Indonesia would rise from its current position of 15th in global carbon emssions.

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