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China’s Per Capita Emissions May Overtake Those in US by 2017

China’s Per Capita Emissions May Overtake Those in US by 2017

 

Written by Matthew McDermott, a  Treehugger blogger

China became the largest national carbon emitter in 2007, overtaking the US. Last summer China also became the world’s largest consumer of energy. Currently its per capita carbon footprint (6.8 tons) is roughly similar to that of Italy and greater than that of France–meaning that on an average basis, acknowledging significant differences based on income, people in China consume resources and use energy to a similar degree as a low-emitting developed nation.

Now, starkly, a new report from the European Commission Joint Research Centre projects, based on current emission trends, that China’s per capita emissions could overtake or match those of the United States by 2017–which, incorporating recent declines, stand at about 16.9 tons per person.

China No Longer a Developing Nation
Yale e360 notes, “Some conservationists now contend that, based on its CO2 emissions, China should be treated as a developed nation in future climate change talks.”

That’s a reasonable, if without a doubt politically unpalatable, position. Something which I noted last July, commenting on a report that China’s carbon emissions were at 6.1 tons per person and even more applicable today:

What it comes down to and these latest stats cement, is that in international negotiations, particularly when it comes to climate change and committing to carbon emission reductions, China can no longer call itself a developing nation and fall back on that stance to justify not committing to more stringent measures. It more rightly stands beside France and other EU nations with relatively low per capita emissions (think Sweden, Switzerland) than it does with its neighbors in Southeast and South Asia, still less so with virtually any nation in Africa.

This post was originally published by Treehugger.

 

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China’s Solutions To Its Many Environmental Problems

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Leave Your Car At Home: European Cities Create Anti-Driving Policies

 

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Photo from Sunset Noir via flickr creative commons

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45 comments

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6:23AM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

Grazie delle informazioni.

11:47AM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

I'm not surprised

4:59PM PDT on Oct 5, 2011

The only thing I'm surprised at is that they haven't surpassed the US already......I bet they have when it comes to water pollution though.

8:43AM PDT on Oct 5, 2011

Wakeup America, once again were under attack. Remember the words of that great American, George Bush... "Either you are for pollution or you are a polluter". Dial 411 or was it 911.
Once again, China is about to overtake us, remember. America, we're #1, actually, #2 is looking rather good, just about now.

June, Some Cities in China did in fact surpass the US some years ago, but the rest of China is advancing quite quickly in becoming #1 for the worst air and water quality. They have rivers that are deeper in colour from pollution, than the Chicago River on St Patrick's Day and people are still using the water for cooking, bathing and laundry.

China's rapid advancement as an industrial giant may well be its downfall, environmentally, medically, and ideologically, due to the above problems.

8:36AM PDT on Oct 5, 2011

Wakeup America, once again were under attack. Remember the words of that great American, George Bush... "Either you are for pollution or you are a polluter". Dial 411 or was it 911.
Once again, China is about to overtake us, remember. America, we're #1, actually, #2 is looking rather good, just about now.

June, Some locations did in fact surpass the US some years ago, but on a whole, the rest of China is advancing quite quickly to become the worst air quality in the world. They have rivers that are deeper in colour than the Chicago River on St Patrick's Day and people are still using the water for cooking, bathing and laundry.

China's rapid advance as an industrial giant may well be its downfall, environmentally, medically, and ideologically, due to the above problems.

6:50PM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

I remember when our Olympic team put off to the last possible minute going to Beijing for the Summer Olympics because of the extremely poor, pea soup air quality.

10:29AM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

Europeans and America have been polluting our Earth for a century. They are blameful and now they are very worried about developing countries. Evey nation should do an effort to go into clean energy. Every person should be minful about his own actions, and its carbon and water footprint.

6:29AM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

When China's natural resources are all dried up and gone guess where they are going to come looking - they will just move in and take them (water, oil/gas, forests) and there won't be a dam thing we will be able to do about it, so like a comment above - just keep shopping at Walmart people!

4:31AM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

We should be finding ways to help them attain clean energy instead of helping to make a case against them. Some people are so brainwashed that they scarcely see the Chinese as people and would willingly agree with anyone who says that we should nuke them. But their hatred for the Chinese is a learned response, and I suspect that these 'haters' dislike other nations and races as well, and that the Chinese are just their new target. The US and Europe are primarily the cause of world pollution, and are still increasing emissions, we have been responsible for polluting our planet for over a hundred years. We are responsible for global warming (if it exists) oil spills galore. Acid rain. Etc. And instead of going on about china we should at the very least, be honest and adult about it and take responsibility for our own actions. But I think that we would rather go to war with china than change our ways. Should we hate the average Chinese family? No! Should the Chinese hate the average western family? No! Because we are the same, all of us trying to survive in this world where Big business is the main polluter and politicians in league with big business try to keep us near to the poverty line and get us to hate the Chinese because if we didn't hate someone else then we might notice that our true enemies are the ones in charge of us, our leaders, ...who were supposed to be our public servants, but are now our masters.

4:28AM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

We should be finding ways to help them attain clean energy instead of helping to make a case against them. Some people are so brainwashed that they scarcely see the Chinese as people and would willingly agree with anyone who says that we should nuke them. But their hatred for the Chinese is a learned response, and I suspect that these 'haters' dislike other nations and races as well, and that the Chinese are just their new target. The US and Europe are primarily the cause of world pollution, and are still increasing emissions, we have been responsible for polluting our planet for over a hundred years. We are responsible for global warming (if it exists) oil spills galore. Acid rain. Etc. And instead of going on about china we should at the very least, be honest and adult about it and take responsibility for our own actions. But I think that we would rather go to war with china than change our ways. Should we hate the average Chinese family? No! Should the Chinese hate the average western family? No! Because we are the same, all of us trying to survive in this world where Big business is the main polluter and politicians in league with big business try to keep us near to the poverty line and get us to hate the Chinese because if we didn't hate someone else then we might notice that our true enemies are the ones in charge of us, our leaders, ...who were supposed to be our public servants, but are now our masters.

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