Greenhouse gases: China overtakes all industrialized countries together | Free press

Beijing (dpa) – For the first time, annual greenhouse gas emissions in China exceed those of all developed countries combined, according to a new study.

Compared to the EU countries, the US and the other members of the organization of industrialized countries OECD, the US think tank Rhodium Group also estimates that the most populous country in 2019 alone produces 27 percent of global CO2 equivalents (CO2e ) contributed – much more than the US – in second place at eleven percent. According to the calculations, India climbed to third place for the first time with 6.6 percent.

CO2 equivalents are a unit of measurement for standardizing the climate impact of different greenhouse gases that do not contribute to the greenhouse effect to the same extent and remain in the atmosphere for different periods of time. According to the study released on Friday, China’s emissions in 2019 amounted to more than 14 gigatonnes of CO2e for the first time. They have tripled since 1990. They are up 25 percent in the last ten years.

Global emissions rose to 52 tons of CO2 equivalents in 2019 – an increase of 11.4 percent over the past decade, as the calculations showed. With about 1.4 billion people, China’s per capita emissions reach 10.1 tons, slightly below the OECD level of 10.5 tons – significantly lower than the US, which is calculated at 17.6 tons per capita. capita, which contribute much more to global warming.

According to the study, the per capita share in China is likely to have increased in 2020 as greenhouse gas emissions increased by about 1.7 percent, while they decreased in most other countries due to the corona pandemic. Cumulatively, however, China is “still a long way off” catching up with the historical contributions industrialized nations have made to global warming since 1750. Carbon dioxide lingers in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. Global warming is the result of a combination of long-accumulated and current greenhouse gases.

Strong growth and the high share of coal in China’s energy mix are considered the main reasons for the increase in carbon dioxide emissions. As the world’s largest coal consumer, China has pledged new climate protection efforts. At the virtual climate summit at the invitation of US President Joe Biden two weeks ago, China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping promised to “ strictly limit ” the increase in coal consumption by 2025 and then “ gradually reduce ” by 2030.

The Chinese president reiterated his pledge that China would aim to achieve its CO2 emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. This means that no carbon dioxide is emitted or that CO2 emissions are fully offset. While the Beijing government has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to the Paris climate agreement, critics criticize the further expansion of coal energy at the local level and an increase in coal production. China bases its energy supply for about 60 percent on coal.

At a world climate conference in Glasgow at the end of this year, all contract partners will have to tighten their climate goals. Experts agree that much more needs to be done worldwide by 2030 to keep global warming well below two degrees, as agreed by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015. The Earth has already warmed about 1.2 degrees – compared to pre-industrial times.

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