Update: COP-6

Global Warming Warning

The North West has become the first English region to release an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, widely regarded as the cause of rising global temperatures. The inventory is part of a major new push to improve the region's response to climate change.

The inventory, by Manchester Metropolitan University's Atmospheric Research and Information Centre and UMIST, is being published by the North-west Climate Group, a partnership of Northwest NGOs, businesses and government bodies.

The inventory shows that car-crazy citizens of Cheshire are releasing 10% more carbon dioxide (CO2) per head than others in the region and the less wealthy in Merseyside are responsible for 8% less emissions. An average North Westerner is responsible for 12.7 tonnes of CO2-equivalent green-house gases each year: the amount emitted by driving from Lands End to John O'Groats and back 30 times.

To put the greenhouse gas emissions into context, the inventory's authors point out that to absorb just the CO2 emissions, 4 million hectares of poplar plantations would be required - 3 times the land area of the entire region.

Sustainability Northwest, which co-ordinates the Northwest Climate Group, spelled out the significance of the Northwest Greenhouse Gas Inventory: "Climate change is already set to have a huge impact on our region. Sea levels will rise, as will our temperatures, it will get stormier, windier and wetter during winter. These are the impacts which we have already "set in train" through the release of greenhouse gases. What this inventory will help us to do is to slash our future contributions to global warming. To deliver a safe and more stable climate to our children we need to make some radical reductions in our emissions of these gases. This inventory will help us target our actions and get to grips with the greenhouse effect."


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(c) Networking Newsletter (June/July 2000)