Date: July 20 2012
THE average Chinese person's carbon footprint is now almost on a par with the average European's, new figures show.
China became the largest national emitter of carbon dioxide in 2006, though its emissions per person have always been lower than those in developed countries such as Europe's.
But this week's report by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre show that per capita emissions in China increased by 9 per cent in 2011 to reach 7.2 tonnes per person, only a fraction lower than the EU average of 7.5 tonnes. The figure for the US is much higher - at 17.3 tonnes - though total Chinese carbon emissions are now about 80 per cent higher than those of America.
The widening gap reflects the 9 per cent increase in China's emissions in 2011, driven mainly by coal use, compared with a 2 per cent fall in the US.
Total emissions in Europe and Japan also fell last year, by 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. But emissions rose across much of the developing world, including India, which saw a 6 per cent increase. As a result, OECD nations now account for only about a third of the global total.
This material is subject to copyright and any unauthorised use, copying or mirroring is prohibited.
[ Canberra Times | Text-only index]