Industrial countries that pledged to cut their carbon emissions under the Kyoto Protocol will easily meet their targets by 2012, the U.N. climate secretariat said Tuesday.
But emissions by all industrial countries have been rising, driven by the reviving economies of former Soviet-era countries that collapsed after the end of the Cold War, and emissions reached a near record in 2005, the U.N. figures showed.
“Emissions are going up in a worrying way,” said Yvo de Boer, the general secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The 36 countries that together pledged to cut emissions by 5 percent from 1990 levels by 2012 will comfortably exceed that target, and should reach an 11 percent reduction, De Boer told reporters.
U.N. scientists say greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon from factories and vehicles, are to blame for the Earth’s rising average temperatures which threaten catastrophic impacts unless they are curbed within a few years. They predict increasingly widespread floods, droughts, fierce storms and rising sea levels that will affect hundreds of millions of lives.