NEW YORK Global emissions of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide will jump more than 39 percent by 2030 without new policies and binding pacts to cut global warming pollution, the top U.S. energy forecast agency said on Wednesday.
Nearly 200 nations are set to meet late this year in Copenhagen to hash out a new agreement to control greenhouse gases as the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama and leaders in both the House and Senate hope to regulate the gases with a cap and trade market in emissions.
Without new agreements to foster emerging technologies such as solar and wind power and burial of carbon dioxide underground, world emissions of the gas should hit 40.4 billion metric tons by 2030, up from 29 billion metric tons in 2006, said the Energy Information Administration, the independent statistics arm of the Department of Energy.
Many scientists say emissions of greenhouse gases must be cut 80 percent or more by 2050 to avoid heat waves and killer droughts from global warming.
Much of the growth in pollution levels is expected to come from developing countries such as China and India which burn a lot of coal.
"With strong economic growth and continued heavy reliance on fossil fuels expected for most of (the developing) economies, much of the increase in carbon dioxide emission is projected to occur among the developing ... nations," the EIA said in the report, its annual International Energy Outlook.
By 2030, carbon dioxide emissions from developing countries should hit 25.8 billion metric tons, while the pollution from rich countries should be 14.6 billion metric tons, the EIA said.
The United States is the world's second biggest greenhouse gas polluter behind China, but its global warming pollution on a per capita basis is nearly five times higher than China's. Developing countries say the rich countries are responsible for most of the greenhouse pollution since the Industrial Revolution.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; editing by Jim Marshall)