THE atmospheric CO2 level is still increasing despite many countries claiming significant national reductions. Indeed the figures for the last decade show a persistent annual increase of two and a quarter parts per million.

This global figure, currently at 408, is over a hundred units more than is needed to maintain a stable and unchanging climate.

Surprisingly the UK, the USA and most European countries report a substantial decline in CO2 output, mainly due to using less coal, and then less gas as solar, wind and nuclear power help cut the emissions.

The UK reduction is significant, at around 40 percent, because we were coal reliant, while the USA has managed a fifth fewer emissions, and China saw a minor reduction for the first time last year.

However there’s still much more to do as each American still produces over 18 tonnes annually, Russians over 12, Germans nine, the British eight, Chinese seven, and even in France it’s six tonnes despite electricity being 80 percent nuclear. Disappointingly India still produces more CO2 each year, though at well below two tonnes per person it’s the level we should all aim for.

However the only number that really matters is the world total and there are reasons why it’s still increasing, and at a greater rate each decade. It’s clearly unhelpful that every nation excludes international shipping and flying emissions from their figures, and they are both increasing significantly. Shipping, using the CO2 rich crudest oil, is up 300 percent since 1992, and flying, annually increasing at six percent plus, will double before 2030.

Add to these significant increases the addition of about 80 million more people every year, and the loss of carbon storing forest cover – over 1,000 football pitches worth every hour for the last twenty years.

So it’s no wonder CO2 emissions are still increasing.