05/11/2006, 00.00
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China and India playing greater role in greenhouse gas emission

In ten years mainland China increased carbon dioxide emissions by 33 per cent; India, by 57 per cent; the world average is 15 per cent.

New York (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which cause global warming, are still growing. In its annual Little Green Data Book, the World Bank said industrialised nations led by the US continue to be the worst offenders for emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). But developing nations, particularly China and India, are producing an ever-greater share of CO2 emissions, contributing to the trapping of heat-retaining gases (greenhouse effect) in the Earth's atmosphere.

The report, launched at a meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, said CO2 emissions worldwide topped 24 billion tonnes in 2002, the latest year for which data was available. That is an increase of 15 per cent compared to the levels in 1992.

China, which is already the second-largest polluter behind the US, increased its emissions by 33 per cent between 1992 and 2002. India's emissions grew 57 per cent in the same period.

The United States contributed 24 per cent of total emissions and the 12 nations of Europe's euro zone emitted 10 per cent.

"This reality shows us that we need to find creative ways to engage all major economies of the world to solve a global problem such as climate change," said acting World Bank vice-president Steen Jorgensen.

"All countries are vulnerable to climate change," said Warren Evans, the World Bank's environment director. "But the poorest countries are the most exposed and have the least means to adapt to it. Climate change may hamper efforts to reduce poverty in agriculture-dependent countries in Africa and low-lying coastal areas. Climate-proofing development initiatives are an urgent need to avoid human disasters."

With data for 48 indicators in 222 countries, territories and regions, the World Bank study is one of the most comprehensive to look at environmental change. 

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