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Global CO2 Emissions Jumped 3% in 2011

Global emissions of carbon dioxide increased by three percent last year, reaching an all-time high of 34 billion metric tons in 2011, according to a report by The European Commission Joint Research Centre and PBL, the Netherlands’ environmental assessment agency.

The 2011 increase in global CO2 emissions is above the past decade’s average annual increase of 2.7 percent, but below the five percent surge shown in 2010, according to Trends in Global CO2 Emissions.

The report shows that global emission growth continued despite reductions in emissions from OECD countries. Weak economic conditions, a mild winter, and energy savings stimulated by high oil prices led to a decrease of three percent in CO2 emissions in the European Union and of two percent in both the United States and Japan. Emissions from OECD countries now account for only one third of global CO2 emissions.

In China, the world’s most populous country, average emissions of CO2 increased by nine percent to 7.2 metric tons per capita. China is now on par with the per capita emissions of Europe.

India’s emissions increased by six percent, meaning that China and India’s output combined now accounts for a third of the world’s emissions – the same proportion as all OECD countries.

The United States remains one of the largest emitters of CO2, with 17.3 tonnes per capita, despite a decline due to the recession in 2008-2009, high oil prices and an increased use of natural gas as an energy source, the report says.

According to the report, the top emitters contributing to the 34 billion tonnes of CO2 emitted globally in 2011 are:

  • China (29 percent)
  • The United States (16 percent)
  • The European Union (11 percent)
  • India (6 percent)
  • The Russian Federation (5 percent)
  • Japan (4 percent)

A recent 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.

The US has made “limited or little progress toward greater efficiency at the national level,” according to the report, “The ACEEE 2012 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard.”

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2 thoughts on “Global CO2 Emissions Jumped 3% in 2011

  1. This is without doubt, the single most important crisis facing humanity since the splitting of the atom. It could lead to extinction. Given politics, there are NO serious efforts by the 2 nations most responsible for carbon emissions, China (by far!) and the U.S. Here, the citizenry listen to “climate experts” like Rush Limbaugh (a Mississippi State drop out) and ignore the scientific facts. There are solutions, but they will take decades to implement. Unless those efforts are started in the next 10 years, the process may become irreversible. It’s past time to stop the debate and take action! Profit/Money is the root of the problem of why nothing substantive is being done in these 2 countries. Eco friendly solutions will affect the “bottom line” of multi-national corporations–so they pay-off amoral politicians and so it goes. “We the people” must end this cycle of greed and arrogance and demand change. China is another matter. Perhaps they might be persuaded by example?! It is NOT a matter if, it is a matter of certainty. Limbaugh and his ilk will not live to suffer the consequences. My children and grandchildren will. Let’s join forces and demand action—for the sake of humanity. That is what humanitarians do!

  2. Find my book at google by registering Juan Sumbillo
    Out of 34 billion tons of CO2 emitted every year only 26 billion is absorbed by the vegetation on land and ocean leaving behind 8 billion tons to accumulate into the atmosphere every year. The most logical approach is to avoid burning rice straw and corn stalks so that 7.5 billion tons of CO2 that has been will not return into the atmosphere. My concentration now is on the process of digestion of these agri-wastes to produce methane and utilize the same for energy generation.

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