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Aug 192010
 

From Green Right Now Reports

Looking for a little bit of positive environmental news amid the floods, record temperatures and out-of-control fires? According to German renewable energy institute IWR, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell 1.3 percent in 2009 to 31.3 billion tons, the first year-to-year decline in the past decade.

The institute identified the global economic crisis and increased investment in renewable energies for the slight decline.

IWR director Norbert Allnoch also noted a shift in the roster of the main culprits. While Europe, Russia, Japan and the United States showed emissions reductions, increased output in Asia and the Middle East erased much of the overall improvement.

“The energy-induced CO2 output in China in 2009 due to its economic growth has grown to a level now that is as high as that of the U.S. and Russia combined,” Allnoch said.

China in 2009 was the top polluter with 7.43 billion tons (up from 6.81 billion in 2008). Next came the U.S. (5.95 billion, down from 6.37 billion in ’08). Russia, India and Japan rounded out the top five.

Global CO2 emissions were still 37 percent above those in 1990, the basis year for the Kyoto Climate Protocol.