Industrial nations still releasing more greenhouses gases

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Economic development is contributing to the disappointing slow start in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Bonn - Industrialized countries are continuing to emit more greenhouse gasses despite goals set by the Kyoto agreement to curb carbon pollution, a UN body said on Monday.

The UN Climate Change Secretariat said planet warming gases released by 40 industrial states that signed up the Kyoto framework increased an average of 2.3 percent between 2000 and 2006.

Overall emissions were 5 percent below the 1990 benchmark set in Kyoto. This is largely due to the collapse of the old economic structure in the former Soviet-bloc states of Central and Eastern Europe.

But emissions have been on the rise since the start of the century. Data shows that increase in greenhouse emissions appear to come mostly from economies in transition where greenhouse gas pollution increased to 7.4 percent between 2000 and 2006.

Urgent action is needed to remedy the situation, said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the Bonn based United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

He said a conference taking place in the Polish city of Poznan from Dec. 1-12 needed to make "good progress" in order to move forward quickly in designing a new agreement after the 2012 expiry date of the Kyoto agreement.

The Kyoto protocol requires industrial nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions an average 5 percent over 1990 levels.

De Boer said that carbon trading mechanisms set up to help countries meet their Kyoto pledges were working well. "This is an important message, not least for the Poznan meeting," he said.

Some 188 parties to the UNFCCC have ratified the Kyoto protocol and 40 of them have agreed to curb their emissions by 2012. The United States has failed to ratify the Kyoto pact, but still remains a member of the UNFCCC.

The UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan marks the mid way progress of a two year negotiating process, set to culminate in an ambitious international climate change deal in Copenhagen next year.

In Poland, negotiators will take stock of the progress made in the first year of the talks and map out what needs to be done to reach agreement at the end of 2009.


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