While the Kyoto protocol, in which a group of countries agree to control pollution in order to help stop global warming, is a good idea, there is a lot of hypocrisy taking place. For instance, Italy trying to fulfill agreement by planting trees, but this doesn’t work. Now it’s been revealed that some of the countries involved have been UNDER reporting their true levels of greenhouse gases.

Fred Pearce writes in New Scientist that some of the countries that are most critical of greenhouse gas emissions are emitting far more of them than they’ve admitted. Under the Kyoto protocol, each government figures out how much carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide they are emitting and proposes steps to reduce this amount. However, independent monitors now say that even some of the leading proponents of reducing greenhouse emissions are “cheating” by not reporting the true amounts?especially of methane, which is one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases. Since it?s emitted by cows, among other sources, any country with cattle ranches is bound to be giving off large amounts of it.

The UK, one of the originators of the Protocol, is giving off 92% more methane than they’ve declared?almost twice as much. France is emitting 47% more?about half again as much.

The worst reporting comes from China, the world’s second biggest polluter (after the US). They say they’re actually emitting fewer greenhouse gases than they used to, despite the fact that they’ve stepped up their manufacturing and traded their bicycles for cars, because they’ve reduced their coal consumption. Other countries are understandably skeptical about this assertion.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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