Chinese, Indian emissions nullified world cuts: report

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A strong rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from China and India nullified a decline achieved by industrialised countries last year, a Dutch environmental agency said on Thursday.

"Global emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, have remained constant in 2009," the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency said in a report based on data from sources like oil company BP, the US Geological Survey, and Europe's Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research.

"Strong increases in CO2 emissions from fast-growing developing countries such as China and India have completely nullified CO2 emission reductions in the industrialised world," said the policy advice body.

The International Energy Agency had forecast a global emission drop of 2.6 percent for 2009, it added, but instead emissions remained constant for the first time since 1992.

While emissions from fossil-fuel combustion dropped seven percent in industrial countries, partly due to the effects of the economic crisis, it grew nine and six percent in China and India, said the agency.

"A large part of production capacity has been suspended, but could be re-employed as soon as the economy improves. Therefore it is likely that a recovering economy would cause emission levels in industrialised countries to go up," it added.

The average CO2 emission of fast-growing developing countries in 2009 (1.4 tonnes per person in India and six tonnes per person in China) were still below those of industrial countries (ten tonnes per person in the Netherlands and 17 tonnes in the United States).

© 2010 AFP

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