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2.2.3 Assessment

RELEASED UNDER THE OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT

In reviewing the emissions profiles of Annex I countries, it is evident that emissions are generally energy-based. Among the countries reviewed, energy emissions accounted for between 66% (Norway) and 90% (Russia) of total emissions. New Zealand, and to a lesser extent Australia, vary from this trend with significant contributions coming from agricultural emissions (as is the case with many Non-Annex I countries).

Looking across Annex I and Non-Annex I countries, it is clear that the emission of greenhouse gases is distributed unevenly across the world. A dozen countries (including both developed and developing) account for around three-quarters of the world’s carbon emissions. Global emissions are also projected to continue to grow. The World Energy Outlook predicts carbon dioxide emissions will increase internationally by 63% between 2002 and 2030. This emphasises the importance of a few large emitting countries in moving towards a global climate change solution.

The United States is the world’s largest emitter, accounting for approximately one-fifth of global emissions. United States emissions are projected to increase by 43% between 2000 and 2020 - consistent with anticipated emissions trends in many other Annex I countries. Engaging the United States and other Annex I countries in international climate change efforts will continue to be vital.

While carbon dioxide emissions in Russia are likely to grow during CP1, emissions will remain below 1990 levels due to the heavy economic recession of the 1990s. Aggregate emissions from the European Union are projected to remain steady through to 2010, although this will still exceed the Kyoto target of an 8% reduction on 1990 levels. Increased emissions are likely in several individual European Union countries.

[withheld under OIA s6(a), s9(2)(g)(i)]

In some countries, including Canada and New Zealand, this position has prompted reviews of domestic measures. A number of countries are also developing strategies for purchasing emission units to make up their anticipated Kyoto shortfall.

Policies targeting emissions reductions in Annex I countries cover a broad range, including:

  • price-based measures (including international emissions trading)
  • regulations
  • grants
  • researching and adopting new technologies
  • labelling and promoting energy savings among households and the transport sector
  • voluntary industry targets.

While the United States and Australia have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, they are directing significant domestic resources to a climate change solutions. Policies are focused on energy-efficiency improvements and energy-technology developments.

The United States and Australia were founding members of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which aims to promote the use of technology development in achieving a global solution to climate change, while protecting economic growth. The United States also leads the International Partnership on the Hydrogen Economy and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, coordinating international efforts in developing and diffusing these technologies.