Saturday, June 24, 2006

Kyoto participants under reporting emmissions

That's according to the New Scientist.

Under Kyoto, each government calculates how much carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide its country emits by adding together estimated emissions from individual sources. These so-called "bottom-up" estimates have long been accepted by atmospheric scientists, even though they have never been independently audited.

Now two teams that have monitored concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere say they have convincing evidence that the figures reported by many countries are wrong, especially for methane. Among the worst offenders are the UK, which may be emitting 92 per cent more methane than it declares under the Kyoto protocol, and France, which may be emitting 47 per cent more.

The Times (UK) helps set the record straight.Here are some other facts you may be unaware of.

It is often reported that President Bush rejected the Kyoto treaty in 2001. But did you know that the U.S. Senate directed President Clinton to reject the impending treaty in 1997 with the Byrd-Hagel Resolution?

It is often reported in the press that the United States produces 25 percent of the world's industrial greenhouse gases. But did you know that North America consumes more greenhouse gases than it produces?

The fact is that while the North American continent emits about 1.6 billion metric tons of carbon every year, North American carbon sinks actually absorb 1.7 billion tons of atmospheric carbon every year. North America is therefore a net consumer of carbon dioxide. The same is not true of the European nations, who essentially see their emissions cleaned up by North American or other carbon sinks.And this may surprise you.

One surprise in the figures is that Canada's emission record is far worse than even the United States, where the Bush administration has refused to ratify Kyoto.

Mr. Bramley said the United States is "actually ahead of Canada in just about every area" of environmental policies used to curb emissions. And he said the record of individual states "is far ahead of any province in Canada."

"And not a lot of people know that".

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