This was a shock to me. To TreeHugger : ” According to an assessment of per capita carbon emissions by the Netherlands Environmental Agency, China now emits on a per person basis more than France.
” While emissions in France in 2009 were 6 tons, those in China were 6.1 tons -up from 2.2 tons in 1990. Which really means that China can no longer claim to be a developing nation. “
The study – and the original New York Times’ article – bring further interesting findings I will propose you in the full article.
As James Kanter notes :
Per capita emissions in France tend to be lower than in some other industrialized countries because of the country’s heavy reliance on nuclear plants to generate electricity rather than fossil fuels.
Per capita emissions in 15 nations of the European Union were 7.9 tons in 2009, down from 9.1 tons in 1990, the study said. In the United States, the figure was 17.2 tons in 2009, down from 19.5 tons in 1990.
Over all the Dutch agency found that global emissions of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, were unchanged last year. That came as a surprise: Because of the onset of the worst economic crisis in decades, other bodies like the International Energy Agency had predicted a significant decline in 2009, the report said.
But the hefty increase in emissions from fast-developing parts of the world like China and India had the effect of canceling out the sharp decline in emissions elsewhere. Emissions from China and India “completely nullified CO2 emission reductions in the industrialized world,” the report said.
“These changes reflect a number of factors, including the large economic development in China, structural changes in national and global economies, and the impact of climate and energy policies,” it said. “Due to rapid economic development, per capita emissions in China are quickly approaching levels common in the industrialized countries.
The evidence is likely to add to pressure on Beijing to accept binding limits on its greenhouse gas emissions. A dispute over whether China would ever be prepared to accept effective monitoring of its pledges to cut emissions overshadowed a United Nations climate conference last December in Copenhagen at which nations failed to agree on a timetable for a global treaty to curb emissions.
Last year, 53 percent of emissions came from developing countries like China and India, and 44 percent came from industrialized countries, according to the Dutch agency. The remaining 3 percent is attributed to international air and sea transport.
The study included carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and producing chemicals and cement but excluded emissions from activities like deforestation and logging, forest and peat fires, the decay of biomass after burning and decomposition of organic carbon in drained peat soils.