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The Carbon Crunch$
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Dieter Helm

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780300186598

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300186598.001.0001

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Why are emissions rising?

Why are emissions rising?

(p.32) Chapter 2 Why are emissions rising?
The Carbon Crunch

Dieter Helm

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the causes of the carbon emissions and their growth. From its early development in the Industrial Revolution, coal has been associated with air pollution, slag heaps, water pollution, and serious health impacts. Other fossil fuels cause pollution too, but not on the scale of coal. Aviation fuel provides a serious source of transport emissions, and it is all the more damaging by being released into the atmosphere at great height. Given the pollution impacts, the burning of coal should be the most important immediate focus of attention in climate change mitigation. China's economic miracle has been based upon the supply of cheap labor from the countryside plus abundant domestic coal. Despite all the international efforts, the coal-burn keeps going up, and with it emissions; a trend that is underpinned by economic growth, and in turn by population growth.

Keywords:   carbon emissions, coal, Industrial Revolution, fossil fuels, aviation fuel, pollution, economic growth, population growth

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