World’s CO2 Emissions Increased Last Year

December 1, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. emission (n.) [ih-mish-uh n] –a substance that is released after a process is completed
ExampleEmissions from vehicles can be harmful to the lungs.

2.  ton (n.) [tuhn] –  unit of measurement that is equal to 2000 pounds or 907 kilograms.
Example An average car weighs about 1.2 tons.

3. dip (v.) [dip] – to go down or decrease for only a short period of time
Example: Temperature in the atmosphere dipped after the storm passed.

4. pick up (phrasal v.) [pik-uhp] – to increase or rise faster
Example: The car picked up speed after reaching the highway.  

5. renewal (n.) [ri-noo-uh l, -nyoo-] – the act of making something new again
ExampleRenewal of driver’s license is done every few years.

Read the text below.
German-based Renewable Energy Industry Institute (IWR) recently studied worldwide carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and revealed the top greenhouse gas-producing countries.

The IWR used British energy company BP’s data on worldwide fuel consumption. They learned that last year, 34 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were produced globally.  The emissions were 800 million tons more than emissions in 2010.

In 1990, CO2 emissions were only at 22.7 billion tons. The amount of emissions has been growing since. It dipped in 2009 following the global economic crisis, but it picked up again the next year.

IWR Director Norbert Allnoch warned that if the trend continues, CO2 emissions could increase to 40 billion tons by 2020.

IWR reported that 2011’s top greenhouse gas-producing countries were China (8.9 billion tons), USA (6 billion tons), India (1.8 billion tons), Japan (1.3 billion tons) and Germany (804 million tons). Of the top ten countries on the list, only the United States, Russia and Germany managed to reduce their emissions from the year earlier.

IWR’s study was released before the yearly United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held from November 26 to December 7 in Doha, Qatar. The main topic for this event will be the renewal of agreements under the Kyoto Protocol, which contains international plans to reduce greenhouse gases.

On December 31, some agreed CO2 limits under the Kyoto Protocol will already end. A new global agreement on environment protection could be made in 2015.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·          Why is it important to know how much greenhouse gas a country produces?
·          Do you think it is difficult for a country to reduce its greenhouse gases? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How are people affected by pollution in their country?
·         How can people prevent or lessen pollution in the environment?


December 1, 2012