Industrialized nations’ greenhouse gas emissions fell by 1.3 percent in 2012, led by a U.S. decline to the lowest in almost two decades with a shift to natural gas from dirtier coal. A report issued by Reuter to the United Nations showed that about 40 nations dropped about 10 percent below their emission levels in 1990. The main success story is that the United States has been successful in dropping emissions, Europe is in fact mixed because only some countries were able to shift away from coal. U.S. emissions fell 3.4 percent in 2012 to 6.5 billion tonnes, the lowest since 1994, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on April 15. The fall was linked to low natural gas prices, helped by a shale gas boom and a shift from coal, a mild winter and greater efficiency in transport. European emissions dropped only 1.3 percent in the same time. Road transport emissions declined in some EU nations such as Italy, Spain and Greece that are suffering prolonged economic downturns. While emissions rose in Germany and Britain, with more coal used to generate electricity. Among other major nations, emissions dipped in Canada in 2012 but rose in Russia, Japan and Australia.
– Sean Sabogal –