Chi­nese coal fu­els rise in car­bon emis­sions

Nelson Mail - - WORLD -

SWITZER­LAND: Global car­bon diox­ide emis­sions are ris­ing again, end­ing hopes that pol­lu­tion had reached a peak.

The pro­jected 2 per cent in­crease this year is be­ing driven partly by more coal burn­ing in China, ac­cord­ing to re­search by Bri­tain’s Univer­sity of East Anglia (UEA).

China’s emis­sions are fore­cast to rise by 3.5 per cent this year be­cause of stronger growth in in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion and lower hy­dro power gen­er­a­tion af­ter less rain­fall.

In­dia’s emis­sions are ex­pected to rise by 2 per cent, al­though the an­nual rise has fallen from an av­er­age of more than 6 per cent in the past decade.

CO2 emis­sions in the United States are ex­pected to de­cline by 0.4 per cent and in the Euro­pean Union by 0.2 per cent, smaller de­clines than dur­ing the pre­vi­ous decade.

The fig­ures were pub­lished in the jour­nal Na­ture Cli­mate Change as del­e­gates from 195 coun­tries met at the United Na­tions cli­mate change con­fer­ence in the Ger­man city of Bonn.

Pro­fes­sor Corinne Le Quere, the lead au­thor and di­rec­tor of the Tyn­dall Cen­tre for Cli­mate Change Re­search at UEA, said: ‘‘Global CO2 emis­sions ap­pear to be go­ing up strongly once again, af­ter a three-year sta­ble pe­riod. This is very dis­ap­point­ing.

‘‘With global CO2 emis­sions from hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties es­ti­mated at 41 bil­lion tonnes for 2017, time is run­ning out on our abil­ity to keep warm­ing well be­low 2C, let alone 1.5C.

‘‘This year we have seen how cli­mate change can am­plify the im­pacts of hur­ri­canes, with more in­tense rain­fall, higher sea lev­els and warmer ocean con­di­tions favour­ing more pow­er­ful storms. This is a win­dow into the fu­ture. We need to reach a peak in global emis­sions in the next few years and drive emis­sions down rapidly after­wards.’’

Re­new­able en­ergy had in­creased by 14 per cent a year over the past five years, the re­port said. In fur­ther grounds for op­ti­mism, 22 coun­tries man­aged to ex­pand their economies while cut­ting emis­sions.

Dave Reay, pro­fes­sor of car­bon man­age­ment at the Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh, said: ‘‘ More re­new­ables, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and for­est pro­tec­tion are all help­ing to keep the global car­bon debt in check, but balanc­ing the books will re­quire far greater con­tri­bu­tions from the world’s na­tions.’’

An­drew Wat­son, a pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Ex­eter, said: ‘‘There con­tin­ues to be grounds for op­ti­mism. Emis­sions have not peaked yet, but they are def­i­nitely lev­el­ling out, de­spite in­creas­ing global eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity. This is a hope­ful sign.’’

A sep­a­rate re­port pub­lished yes­ter­day found that a quar­ter of the 241 UN-listed nat­u­ral world her­itage sites were at risk from cli­mate change.

Aus­tralia’s Great Bar­rier Reef and the Belize Bar­rier Reef are threat­ened by mass bleach­ing of corals caused by in­creases in wa­ter tem­per­a­ture, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture.

Re­treat­ing glaciers threaten Kil­i­man­jaro Na­tional Park in Africa and the Jungfrau-Aletsch in the Swiss Alps.

The Ever­glades Na­tional Park in Florida and Lake Turkana in Kenya are on the union’s ‘‘crit­i­cal list’’ of the most threat­ened world her­itage sites.– The Times

Wik­iLeaks link re­vealed

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s el­dest son ex­changed pri­vate mes­sages with Wik­iLeaks dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign at the same time the web­site was pub­lish­ing hacked emails from Demo­cratic of­fi­cials, ac­cord­ing to cor­re­spon­dence made pub­lic yes­ter­day. Don­ald Trump Jr did not re­spond to many of the notes, but he alerted se­nior ad­vis­ers on his fa­ther’s cam­paign, in­clud­ing his brother-in-law, Jared Kush­ner, ac­cord­ing to two peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the ex­changes. In the mes­sages, Wik­iLeaks urged Trump Jr to pro­mote its trove of hacked Demo­cratic emails, and sug­gested that Don­ald Trump chal­lenge the elec­tion re­sult if he did not win.

LOTR com­ing to small screen

Ama­zon has bought the global tele­vi­sion rights to The Lord of the Rings, in what may be its big­gest and most ex­pen­sive move yet to draw view­ers to its stream­ing and shop­ping club Prime. Ama­zon an­nounced yes­ter­day it will pro­duce a multi-sea­son series that ex­plores new sto­ry­lines pre­ced­ing au­thor J R R Tolkien’s The Fel­low­ship of the Ring, the first in­stal­ment in the famed fan­tasy tril­ogy. Ama­zon ac­quired the rights from the Tolkien Es­tate and Trust but did not say how much it paid for them. The project un­der­scores a shift in Ama­zon’s video pro­gram­ming. It is look­ing for a dra­matic show that could be a hit glob­ally, much like HBO’s fan­tasy series Game of Thrones. This puts the com­pany in un­charted ter­ri­tory, with higher pro­duc­tion costs ex­pected.

De­fect­ing sol­dier wounded

A North Korean sol­dier was shot and wounded by his own side as he fled to South Korea in a rare de­fec­tion across the tense bor­der. The uniden­ti­fied man is be­ing treated in a mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal af­ter be­ing shot in the shoul­der and el­bow as he made a des­per­ate sprint in Pan­munjom, the only part of the bor­der that re­mains free of barbed wire fences and land­mines. In an­other sec­tion of the bor­der, an Amer­i­can man was ar­rested by South Korean po­lice for ap­par­ently pre­par­ing to en­ter North Korea for ‘‘po­lit­i­cal pur­poses’’. He was said to be 58 and from Louisiana. North Korean au­thor­i­ties have made no com­ment on the in­ci­dents, but the South’s level of mil­i­tary alert has been raised as a pre­cau­tion.

PHOTO: REUTERS

In­creased burn­ing of coal by China, partly due to stronger growth in in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion, is driv­ing a rise in global car­bon diox­ide emis­sions.

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