In a statement issued in Nairobi and London, UNEP and WEC said the findings challenged the widely-held belief that the stalling of the UN Climate Change Convention talks in The Hague last year and political disagreements over the science and the need for legally binding reduction targets had paralyzed the worldwide effort to fight global warming. Studies by the WEC indicate that the number of new clean energy schemes, government initiatives and renewable energy projects will, by 2005, save the equivalent of 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (C02) annually. This equals to a saving of over 3 per cent in terms of global greenhouse gas emissions emitted in the year 2000. In fact, the figure of 1 billion tonnes may be a “dramatic understatement,” the statement said. A survey of 91 countries indicates the actual level of additional projects planned or in the pipeline could raise the global C02 savings to as high as 2 billion tonnes (two gigatonnes) by 2005 or 6 per cent of current global greenhouse gas emissions. Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP, said the pessimism and gloom hanging over the UN Climate Change Convention talks, which are set to resume in Bonn on 18 July, had masked small but real progress towards reducing emissions. He highlighted the progress with the achievements made in China, which accounts for 14 per cent of world C02 emissions. “China has, despite economic growth estimated at 36 per cent, managed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 17 per cent since 1996/97. The figure of 17 per cent may prove premature, with the real reduction likely to be in the range of 10 or 12 per cent, but this is still remarkable and encouraging progress. It has been achieved by an active effort to promote energy conservation, end coal subsidies and support more efficient coal-fire power generation,” Mr. Toepfer said. A study by scientists at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in California concludes that China’s C02 emissions are already 400 to 900 million tonnes below what was expected in 2000, which is approximately equivalent to all C02 emissions from Canada, at the low end of the range, or Germany, at the high end of the estimate.