Rising carbon dioxide emissions in developing world undercut climate deal

In 2009, UN delegates met in Copenhagen, Denmark and agreed to limit the global average surface temperature increase to a two degrees Celsius. That same year, growth in carbon emissions was briefly muted by the global financial crisis, but as the global economy recovered so did carbon emissions.

“There’s no real global commitment to doing something like that,” Loris added. “It makes meetings like Doha … more of a formality than anything serious, where a deal might be brokered to reach some sort of agreement.”

“Even the United States hasn’t made any commitment,” he added. “The only reason our emissions are down is because we’re in a recessionary environment and there’s been a huge boom in natural gas production.”

“That wasn’t a result of any mandate, it was a result of the way the economy unfolded,” Loris said, adding that the only effort to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. comes from the EPA.

“The EPA is implementing regulations through the back door that will curb CO2 and will come at an extreme cost,” he said.

This GCP research was led by members of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia — the same university where researchers were implicated in the Climategate email scandal.

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