Monday, January 31, 2011

"China speeds ahead of the rest" (on pollution)

From the

World carbon dioxide emissions are one way of measuring a country's economic growth too.

And the latest figures - published by the respected Energy Information Administration - show CO2 emissions from energy consumption - the vast majority of Carbon Dioxide produced.

A reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions is not only the goal of environmentalists but also of pretty much every government in the world. Currently 192 countries have adopted the Kyoto protocol with the aim of collectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5% of the 1990 levels by 2012.

The map, above (you can get it as a PDF file here) is produced by Guardian graphic artists Mark McCormick and Paul Scruton. It shows a world where established economies have large - but declining - carbon emissions. While the new economic giants are growing rapidly. This newly-released data is from 2009 - the latest available.

On pure emissions alone, the key points are:

• China emits more CO2 than the US and Canada put together - up by 171% since the year 2000
• The US has had declining CO2 for two years running
• The UK is down one place to tenth on the list, 8% on the year. The country is now behind Iran, South Korea, Japan and Germany
• India is now the world's third biggest emitter of CO2 - pushing Russia into fourth place
• The biggest decrease from 2008-2009 is Ukraine - down 28%. The biggest increase is Chile - up 74%

But that is only one way to look at the data - and it doesn't take account of how many people live in each country. If you look at per capita emissions, a different picture emerges where:

• Some of the world's smallest countries and islands emit the most per person - the highest being Gibraltar with 152 tonnes per person
• The US is still number one in terms of per capita emissions among the big economies - with 18 tonnes emitted per person
• China, by contrast, emits under six tonnes per person, India only 1.38
• For comparison, the whole world emits 4.49 tonnes per person

More graphs, etc. at link

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