Sian Crampsie

One-quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is produced by the combustion of coal, according to revised data published by Ecofys and ASN Bank.

The two firms have updated a flow chart* showing sources and composition of global GHG emissions. It shows that half of GHG emissions from fossil fuel combustion come from coal, while industrial activities such as chemicals, petrochemicals, and iron and steel production account for 29 per cent of GHG emissions.

The World GHG Emissions Flow Chart was originally launched in 2000 by the World Resources Institute. It was last updated in 2013 using data from 2010, and has now been updated by Ecofys and ASN Bank using data from 2012.

The data shows that greenhouse gas emissions grew from 48 629 megatonnes in 2010 to 51 840 megatonnes in 2012, Ecofys said in a statement.

Compared to the previous flow chart, the updated version shows that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industrial processes increased by two per cent to 67 per cent in total.

The flow chart also shows that emissions from deforestation in 2013 amounted to almost 8 per cent. This is a slight reduction compared to 2010, when deforestation was responsible for over 10 per cent of total GHG emissions.

Direct emissions account for 36 per cent of global emissions. These include emissions of methane from activities such as agriculture, landfill and oil and gas extraction, and emissions of CO2 from forestry and land use change activities.

Overall Agricultural activities account for 20 per cent of global emissions, buildings 18 per cent and transport 14.5 per cent.

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