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Carbon Emissions

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department holds on the proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which is directly attributable to human activity. (310487)

According to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, pre-industrial carbon dioxide concentrations (just prior to 1750) were around 280 parts per million (ppm). In 2009, according to the World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases, carbon dioxide concentrations were at 387 ppm. Based on these figures, the proportion of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere which can be attributed to human activity is around 28 per cent. of today’s atmospheric concentrations.