Last week the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the EC Joint Research Centre, reported that the carbon footprint of the individual Chinese citizen has matched that of the average European. Now the organizations have added that despite the world’s best efforts to stem climate change and implement renewable energy technologies, global levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have risen by a disturbing 3% in the past year.
In the report Trends in global CO2 emissions, the researchers noted that the 3% increase in emissions was higher than the decade’s average annual rise of 2.7%. The main cause cited was increased industrial growth in China and India, where emissions increased by 9% and 6% respectively. Although China’s average emissions leapt to 7.2 tons per capita, this was still within the range of 6-19 tons per capita of the major industrialized countries.
It was not all doom and gloom, however. While China and India’s figures may have increased, the EU, US and Japan’s all decreased by 3% and 2% respectively. In the European Union, emissions were at 7.5 tons per capita; but the United States remained one of the world’s largest emitters at 17.3 tons per capita.
Of the planet’s top emitters (who mostly contributed to the global total of 34 billion ton of CO2 emitted during 2011), China was responsible for 29%, the USA for 16%, the EU for 11%, India for 6% and Russia for 5%.
Recently, a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked the UK as the most energy-efficient of 12 major economies, followed closely by Germany, Italy, Japan and France. The United states placed ninth, below China in eighth. In the report, it stated that US had made “limited or little progress toward greater efficiency at the national level.”