Half of greenhouse gases 'emitted by five nations'

Dec 01, 2011
A coalfired power station in Huaibei, in east China's Anhui province
More than half of all carbon pollution released into the atmosphere comes from five countries, according to a national ranking of greenhouse gas emissions released Thursday.

More than half of all carbon pollution released into the atmosphere comes from five countries, according to a national ranking of greenhouse gas emissions released Thursday.

The first 10 countries on the list, made available during UN in Durban, South Africa, account for two-thirds of , said the report, compiled by British-based firm Maplecroft, specialists in risk analysis.

China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan top the ranking, with Brazil, Germany, Canada, Mexico and Iran just behind.

Three of the top six nations are energy-hungry emerging giants developing their economies at breakneck speed.

China, which eclipsed the United States several years ago to head the list, produced 9,441 megatons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e), a measure that combines C02 with other heat-trapping gases such as methane and nitrous oxide.

The method of calculation used combines 2009 figures for with estimated numbers for 2010.

The majority of the countries' emissions are carbon dioxide, thanks to massive . Renewable energy use is increasing, but remains dwarfed by fossil fuel use.

India produced 2272.45 megatons of CO2e, a significant portion from methane generated by agriculture.

"Although per capita energy use in China and India is relatively low, overall energy demand is very large," said Maplecroft Analyst, Chris Laws.

"When combined with high use of coal and other fossil fuels, this results in large emissions in both countries."

Brazil's output of 1,144 megatons from energy use would be significantly higher if deforestation were taken into account.

Among advanced economies, the United States -- No. 1 among large nations for per capita emissions -- produced 6,539 megatons of CO2e.

Russia, at 1,963 megatons, ranked fourth. Its emissions dropped after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but are expected to rise.

In Japan, where output was at 1,203 megatonnes of CO2e, safety fears over nuclear power could lead to a greater reliance on -- and a spike in carbon emissions, Laws said.

He noted, however, that the Japanese government has announced their intention to fill the energy gap with renewable energy sources.

"The trend of increasing global is unlikely to be abated in the short-to-medium term," he said by e-mail.

The index of 176 nations ranks countries based on the total annual level of greenhouse gas emissions, combining data on CO2 emissions from and non-CO2 emissions.

Data comes from several sources, including the US Energy Information Administration and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The 194-nation negotiations in Durban, under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), run until December 9.

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User comments : 11

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daqman
5 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2011
Add up the populations of the five and you get just under 1/2 of the world's population too so it scales better than I would have expected. What is missing is that, although China has a huge population, most of the energy goes to producing products exported to countries with much smaller populations.
FrankHerbert
1.1 / 5 (54) Dec 01, 2011
China: 1,338,299,500
United States: 307,006,550
India: 1,170,938,000
Russia: 141,750,000
Japan: 127,450,460

Total: 3,085,444,510

World population just surpassed 7 billion.

So it's ~44% which is a lot closer to 50% than I expected it to be.

It's also important to notice that at least a billion or so of those persons are in poverty and are not contributing as much to the problem as their more advantaged countrymen.
that_guy
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 01, 2011
It's nice to see you provide an in depth and useful statement today rather than railing against everyone you percieve to be on the side of the right wingnuts or anyone with more moderate views than yours frank.
StarGazer2011
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 01, 2011
Im assuming these figures are based on climate alarmist modelling, rather than actual satelliate measurement. The JAXA INUKI satellite put paid to this myth a month or two ago, turns out the developing world emits most of the CO2, becuase industriralised countries have more efficient fuel sources, are regrowing forests and have huge areas of land devoted to carbon sequestering farm crops.
http://www.jaxa.j...i_e.html
http://joannenova...rbed-by-
StarGazer2011
3 / 5 (6) Dec 01, 2011
"The method of calculation used combines 2009 figures for energy consumption with estimated numbers for 2010." Hold on, so is this about CO2 or about energy use. If its about CO2, maybe they should stop denying the satellites?
http://www.jaxa.j...i_e.html
we have measurements for this now, turns out alarmists were wrong again.
Howhot
2 / 5 (4) Dec 02, 2011
StarGazer2011 points out some great data from the JAXA UNUKI satellite. Unfortunately for us "climate alarmist" our arguments are just junk to toss for a right-winger. Yet, even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

From JAXA is this beautiful work.

http://www.youtub...dlItQkXs

Climate Alarmists? Don't you mean Climate Realists?
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2011
So it's ~44% which is a lot closer to 50% than I expected it to be.

Good call. Though we shouldn't become complacent. If (when) China and India become as industrialized as the others in
the top 10 then that percentage will start to look a lot worse.

Added to that that saying "half the people produce half the greenhouse gases" sounds good - but if the total amount of greenhouse gases is, say, 5 times higher than the planet can cope with at any one time then that doesn't win us any prizes.
Nanobanano
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 02, 2011
It's worse than people think.

The slope of the keeling curve is currently 2.2PPM/year, which represents the net annual gain.

Above, China alone produces 1.88PPM/year equivalent of CO2...

When the oceans and forests can no long uptake any more of what we are making due to acidification reaching physical limits, and deforestation, then the only place left for CO2 to build up will be directly in the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, change isn't going to be fast.

We inherited this technology and this life style, and changing to wind, solar, and other TRULY clean alternatives is going to take many years realistically, probably several decades if not longer.

Sadly, history even suggests you won't be able to force people to do the right thing until no other choice is available anyway.

There'll always be the greedy republican or FOX news anchor who insists coal and oil are perfectly safe and nothing to worry about...
Tseihta
1 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2011
Would be interesting to know what kind of percentage is the Alberta Oilsands project contributing to Canada's overall portion.
It's kind of a double whammy... Producing greenhouse gasses to extract a substance that, when used, produces greenhouse gasses.

I think it must be fairly significant if you look at Canada's population of about 34 million.
that_guy
not rated yet Dec 02, 2011
Would be interesting to know what kind of percentage is the Alberta Oilsands project contributing to Canada's overall portion.
It's kind of a double whammy... Producing greenhouse gasses to extract a substance that, when used, produces greenhouse gasses.

I think it must be fairly significant if you look at Canada's population of about 34 million.

I think it's more of a single whammy for them, since we in the US use the lions share of the oil produced there.
Howhot
1 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2011
This is really good stuff,

http://www.youtub...dlItQkXs

Its worth a visit.

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