China ‘creates two-thirds of CO2 rise’

China accounted for two-thirds of the rise in carbon dioxide emissions in 2007 and is now pumping out about 14% more emissions than the USA.

According to preliminary estimates from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, China was responsible for most of the 3.1% global increase in CO2 emissions.

The figures, based on recently-published energy and cement production data from BP, put China at the top of the list of CO2-emitting countries, with 24% of the global share.

This is followed by the USA, with a 21% share, the EU-15 with 12%, India with 8% and Russia with 6%.

But when calculated against population size, the USA takes top spot with 19.4 tonnes per person, while China is fourth with 5.1 tonnes per person.

Cement manufacturing is responsible for almost a fifth of all China’s CO2 emissions. The country now produces about 51% of the world’s cement.

A report by the agency said: “The increase in global CO2 emissions was mainly due to the combustion of the fossil fuels coal, oil and natural gas.

“Fossil fuel still remains the most used energy source to meet the growing energy demand.

“For the third year in a row, global energy growth slowed, rising by 2.4% in 2007, down from 2.7% in 2006, which is still above the 10-year average.

“The pattern of recent years, which has seen a robust growth in demand in China and the rest of Pacific Asia, was continued with China’s primary energy consumption rising by about 8% in 2007, due to the continued economic growth.”

But China’s increasing share of CO2 emissions can also partly be explained by decreasing oil consumption elsewhere in the world as a result of high oil prices.

Among countries that are members of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), which includes the USA, Australia and EU members, oil consumption fell by 0.9% in 2007.

Kate Martin

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