Study: lower carbon emissions linked to recession
Carbon dioxide dioxides, widely considered the chief cause of global warming, decreased from 2008 to 2009, largely because of the global economic slowdown, says a study released Sunday.
"There is a close link between the world's gross domestic product and emissions of carbon dioxide," says study lead author Pierre Friedlingstein of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, according to a story by USA TODAY colleague Doyle Rice.The emissions drop of 1.3%, the first since the lat 1990s, included significant regional differences. The largest decreases occurred in Europe, Japan and North America: 6.9% in the United States, 8.6% in the U.K., 7% in Germany, 11.8% in Japan and 8.4% in Russia.
In contrast, emissions jumped in emerging economies, including 8% in China and 6.2% in India. China remains the top emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, followed by the USA, India, Russia and Japan.
The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, projects that if the economic recovers as expected, global fossil fuel emissions will increase by more than 3% in 2010. It's part of the annual carbon budget update from the Global Carbon Project, a group of emissions experts from international environmental organizations