Australian per capita emissions larger than US

australia-kangarooIt is a well known fact : American per capita greenhouse gases emissions are among the world’s highest because of massive consumption of both oil and coal. But to a new study Australian per capita emissions are exceeding the US.

One of the main reason is the country’s electricity production which mostly comes from the dirtiest energy solution : coal. Since the country ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2007 I have been wondering if it been doing enough on climate change.

It seems it’s not the case. The new government may be willing to cut emissions and tackle the threat of warming temperatures but a real political consensus is lacking for action.

As the AFP notes :

Australians have overtaken Americans as the world’s biggest individual producers of carbon dioxide, which is blamed for global warming, a risk consultancy says British firm Maplecroft placed Australia’s per capita output at 20.58 tons a year, some four percent higher than the United States and top of a list of 185 countries.

Canada, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia rounded out the top five. China remains the world’s biggest overall greenhouse gas polluter, followed by the United States.

Maplecroft added that China and India’s per person carbon production came in at just 4.5 and 1.16 tons respectively, in sharp contrast to their big overall figures.

(…) The report was released ahead of a major UN summit in Copenhagen in December aiming to thrash out a new climate change treaty.Australia, whose vast size and isolation make for high transport costs for goods and people, has committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 percent by 2020 compared to 2000 levels.

However, emissions trading legislation was defeated in the Senate last month, leaving the target in doubt.

As I noted on my previous note about Australia, the country is already largely at threat because of climate change. I remember nuclear is not really popular there, but well, this is a solution that might help, alongside with renewables and energy efficiency…

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