Seven charts showing how countries’ carbon footprints compare

The UN’s climate body, which was responsible for the Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015, has long been collecting detailed data on greenhouse gas emissions.

When countries met in 2014 for their annual climate conference, they decided that it would be easier to track progress if some of the data from developed countries — annex one countries in UN jargon — was collected together in one document.

The UN produced such a document for the first time in 2015, which compiled emissions data from 2013. At this time, only 31 countries had submitted their data.

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Source: Carbon Brief

Atmospheric carbon dioxide soars past crucial milestone

Earth has passed an “unfortunate milestone,” read an email alert sent out last Saturday evening Australia time. “During the last 4 days, the CO2 [carbon dioxide] levels at Cape Grim have risen above 400 parts per million (ppm),” Paul Krummel, an atmospheric scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organisation (CSIRO) wrote to scientists.

Although the measurement was expected, it is a clear warning that the level of atmospheric CO2 is entering dangerous territory, up from 280 ppm at the start of the industrial age around the year 1800. Scientists figure that the accumulation of greenhouse gases has pushed global temperatures up nearly 1.5°C since 1850. They estimate that 2°C of warming will occur at 450 ppm. Under the Paris agreement, reached at last December’s climate conference, 195 nations pledged to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to below 2°C above preindustrial levels.

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Source: Science

Aviation industry agrees to set carbon limits

Leaders of the global aviation industry, including big names like Boeing and JetBlue, are taking a big step forward to address climate change.

At a meeting of the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal on Monday, members from across the aviation industry representing the United States and 22 other countries agreed to new standards that will significantly reduce global emissions from air travel. The new rules would take effect for all airplanes by 2028, according  to the ICAO.

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Source: The Christian Science Monitor

EasyJet plans to cut carbon emissions with hydrogen fuel-cell trial

The airline hopes to test technology later this year which would allow its planes to taxi to and from the runway using zero-emissions fuel.

EasyJet has unveiled plans to use hydrogen fuel cells on its aircraft to save up to 50,000 tonnes of fuel a year and cut its carbon emissions.

The airline hopes to trial technology later this year that would allow planes to taxi to and from the runway using zero-emissions fuel.

Around 4% of easyJet’s total fuel consumption is used in taxiing, or an average of 20 minutes a flight.

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Source: The Guardian

See for yourself where carbon emissions are coming from now and in the future

At a conference in Paris, almost every country in the world is meeting to forge an agreement that many believe will be the only way to avoid catastrophic climate change. It’s part of a process that started in theearly 1990s, when global powers first began to act collectively to limit carbon emissions. Indeed, many countries now use 1990 as the benchmark from which they measure future emission cuts.

The ultimate goal of the conference, known as COP21, is to limit warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures. The carbon that can be emitted without pushing temperatures above that level is a moving target: cutting less now, for example, means cutting more in the future.

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Source: Quartz

World’s richest 10% produce half of global carbon emissions, says Oxfam

But poorest half of world’s people contribute to just 10% of emissions, says British charity as negotiators work on UN climate change deal in Paris

The richest 10% of people produce half of Earth’s climate-harming fossil-fuel emissions, while the poorest half contribute a mere 10%, British charity Oxfam said in a report released Wednesday.

Oxfam published the numbers as negotiators from 195 countries met in Paris to wrangle over a climate rescue pact.

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Source: The Guardian.

DHL Express delivers 13% carbon efficiency gain for Thai operations

DHL Express, the world´s leading cross-border express services provider, last year improved its carbon efficiency in Asia-Pacific despite a 10 per cent growth in volume.

Carbon-dioxide efficiency improvement over 2013 registered 12 per cent across Asia-Pacific, with outstanding performance from Thailand, which registered a 13-per-cent gain.

To date, Deutsche Post DHL Group – the parent company of DHL – has achieved a 23-per-cent improvement in its carbon efficiency against its 2007 baseline.

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Source: The Nation

Global warming: High carbon in air affects crop nutrient quality

Yet another study warns that global warming could affect the quality of crops by inhibiting nutrient absorption.

Done on wheat and rice, the study by researchers at the University of Gothenburg saw that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affect absorption of nitrogen by plants, which is a vital nutrient for most crops.

The low concentration of nitrogen in tissues was seen regardless of plant growth.

The study examined various types of ecosystems, including crops, grasslands and forests, and involved large-scale field experiments conducted in eight countries on four continents.

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Source: International Business Times UK

UN members agree deal at Lima climate talks

United Nations members have reached an agreement on how countries should tackle climate change.

Delegates have approved a framework for setting national pledges to be submitted to a summit next year.

Differences over the draft text caused the two-week talks in Lima, Peru, to overrun by two days.

Environmental groups said the deal was an ineffectual compromise, but the EU said it was a step towards achieving a global climate deal next year in Paris.

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Source: BBC News

Record cut in Scotland’s carbon emissions

Carbon emissions were cut by a record 12 million tonnes in Scotland last year thanks to the renewable electricity industry.

UK government figures showed 11.9 million tonnes of CO2 was displaced in 2013, up 14% on the previous year.

The Committee on Climate Change, which advises the UK government, said Scotland was making good progress.

Industry body Scottish Renewables described the figures as a “milestone achievement.”

Joss Blamire, a senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, added: “This means that not only are renewables now the number one source of electricity in Scotland, but we have achieved this milestone while preventing a record amount of harmful carbon emissions from being released into our atmosphere.

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Source: BBC News