Ok let’s get back to reality –as if to underline how great is the challenge on climate change the UN has just released figures showing that gas emissions by the industrialised world are still rising, with the United States firmly entrenched as the biggest polluter.In its annual update the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said that, compared with the benchmark year of 1990, the 41 industrialised countries it monitors trimmed their emissions by 3.3 percent by the end of 2004.

But this was mainly due to the slump in the former Soviet bloc economies in the 1990s, which forced the closure or overhaul of thousands of power stations and factories that spewed out carbon dioxide. In contrast, the other industrialised countries saw an increase in pollution of 11 percent from 1990-2004. From 2000-2004, the increase was two percent.

“Industrialised countries will need to intensify their efforts to implement strong policies which reduce greenhouse-gas emissions,” the UNFCCC’s executive secretary, Yvo de Boer, warned. There are no surprises that the United States remains by far the world’s biggest polluter. With 7.067 billion tonnes, the United States accounts for nearly a quarter of the global total of greenhouse-gas pollution