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Energy: Carbon Emissions

Volume 715: debated on Tuesday 1 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking with the international community to reduce carbon emissions from methane in Arctic permafrost thaws. [HL83]

The Government recognise the potentially significant feedback between methane release from permafrost thaws and climate change, and are seeking the strongest possible commitments in the Copenhagen negotiations to emissions reductions which will (among other benefits) reduce the impact of anthropogenic climate change on the permafrost. We recognise the need for research to understand better the processes involved. UK researchers including those at the Met Office Hadley Centre are actively involved in this, including work with Russian collaborators on permafrost modelling. We are also looking at how current scientific work can contribute to the task force established by the Arctic Council to consider the impacts of methane and other short-lived products such as black carbon and tropospheric ozone. The Arctic Council task force investigating this is due to report in February 2011.