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Carbon Emissions Drop Most In 40 Years

From the UK’s Financial Times:

World recession results in steep fall in greenhouse gas emissions

By Fiona Harvey in London

Published: September 21 2009

The recession has resulted in an unparalleled fall in greenhouse gas emissions, providing a "unique opportunity" to move the world away from highcarbon growth, an International Energy Agency study has found.

In the first big study of the impact of the recession on climate change, the IEA found that CO 2 emissions from burning fossil fuels had undergone "a significant decline" this year – further than in any year in the last 40. The fall will exceed the drop in the 1981 recession that followed the oil crisis.

Falling industrial output is largely responsible for the plunge in CO 2 , but other factors have played a role, including the shelving of many plans for new coal-fired power stations owing to falling demand and lack of financing.

For the first time, government policies to cut emissions have also had a significant impact. The IEA estimates that about a quarter of the reduction is the result of regulation, an "unprecedented" proportion. Three initiatives had a particular effect: Europe’s target to cut emissions by 20 per cent by 2020; US car emission standards; and China’s energy efficiency policies.

Fatih Birol, chief IEA economist, said the fall was "surprising" and would make it "much less difficult" to achieve the emissions reductions scientists say are needed to avoid dangerous global warming. "We have a new situation, with the changes in energy demand and the postponement of many energy investments," he said. "But this only has meaning if we can make use of this unique window of opportunity. [That means] a deal in Copenhagen."

The IEA’s study of energyrelated CO 2 emissions, which make up two-thirds of greenhouse gases, is an excerpt from its annual World Energy Outlook, to be published in November. The excerpt will be released early next month to reach policymakers in time for the final negotiating sessions before the climate-change conference in Copenhagen in December.

Note that only a selected excerpt from this report will be released in time for the now all important climate-change conference in Copenhagen.

They just won’t have the time to send the rest of the report (which is already done here in September) , since it is being hand copied into illuminated manuscripts by cloistered monks.

Maybe we are growing cynical, but it sure is convenient to come out with a report which will explain the decline in global temperatures we have been witnessing.

Too bad for the ‘Warmers’ that the world’s temperature began to go down long before the recession began. 

But does this mean that the world won’t end in four months, like we were told fairly recently? — Of course not.

It means we really have to jump through the latest final "window of opportunity."

Or else.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Carbon Emissions Drop Most In 40 Years”

  1. Confucius says:

    In 2008, Bill Clinton said:

    “We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions ’cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.”

    Happy now?

  2. proreason says:

    The only thing that would make them happier is if people would die quicker.

  3. Right of the People says:

    Growth and progress bad, green good.

    “Three initiatives had a particular effect: Europe’s target to cut emissions by 20 per cent by 2020; US car emission standards; and China’s energy efficiency policies. ”

    Is this the same China that is the largest polluter on the planet they’re talking about?

    Where’s my Wild Turkey?

  4. crosspatch says:

    I believe Chicago had something like ONE day over 90 in August. Same with New York. That means a very low demand compared to the average for daytime “peaker” power plants that supply electricity to meet surge demand on hot summer days. The peaker plants are the least efficient producing few megawatts per ton of CO2. They are basically jet engines running generators.

    A cool summer will reduce CO2. But lets see how this winter does.

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