World CO2 emissions rose by nearly 2% in 2008

Climate change, aka global warmingWe have seen last year that CO2 emissions rose by 3.1 percent in 2007. According to the International Economic Platform for Renewable Energies (IWR) they rose in 2008 by 1.94 percent to reach no less than 31.5 billion metric tons.

The document released by this institution in interesting as it provides data by country. This is useful as it enables us to see that India is now the fourth nation in terms of CO2 emissions in front of Japan.

This clearly shows that the discussions in Copenhagen to prepare the future of the Kyoto Protocol will have to include developing nations as  their emissions keep on growing fast.

As the IWR notes:

Global CO2 emissions in 2008 rose to 31.5 billion metric tons, up from 30.9 billion metric tons in 2007. German renewable energy industry institute IWR announced that this is the tenth time in a row that record levels have been achieved. Yet, at the same time, worldwide more than 120 billion euros were invested in renewable energy plants (electricity, heat, fuel) last year.

“The level of direct investment in renewable energy plants worldwide needs to at least quadruple to approximately 500 billion euros each year to slow down the increasing demand for fossil fuels and stabilize global CO2 emissions,” states IWR Director Dr. Norbert Allnoch.

One way to achieve this goal is to link climate-damaging emissions to investments in renewable energies to a greater extent. “The higher the CO2 emissions, the higher the investment in renewable energies that should be put forward by the respective country,” contends Dr. Allnoch.

The comprehensive CO2 emission ranking by country and the necessary levels of investment for the individual countries can be found in the Monthly Report “Renewable Energy Industry”: Global C02 emissions 2008 and renewable energy investment plan

I personally don’t think that renewables alone would do the trick. As I wrote earlier here, massive energy efficiency and conservation campaigns are needed worldwide to cut our emissions. I also mentioned that energy conservation is the cheapest solution with regards to climate change mitigation…

I am not surprised of this speech as it comes from an institution advocating renewables, even less a German one. The country is known for its aggressive work on renewable energies, but little is known about what is often seen as a climate change mitigation paradox

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