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China contributing two thirds to increase in CO2 emissions

Press release | 12-06-2008

With an 8% national increase, China’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions accounted for two thirds of last year’s global carbon dioxide increase of 3.1%. China’s CO2 emissions are now estimated to be about 14% higher than those from the USA. With this, China tops the list of CO2 emitting countries, having about a quarter share in global CO2 emissions (24%), followed by the USA (21%), the EU-15 (12%), India (8%) and the Russian Federation (6%). Together, they comprise 71% of the total of global CO2 emissions. These figures are based on a preliminary estimate by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), using recently published BP (British Petroleum) energy data and cement production data for 2007.

2007: globally, 3% increase in carbon dioxide emissions

Per person: USA ranks list

Since population size and level of economic development differ considerably between countries, the emissions expressed per person show a largely different ranking: Top 5 CO2 emissions in metric tons of CO2 per person are: USA (19.4), Russia (11.8), EU-15 (8.6), China (5.1 ) and India (1.8).

Half of global cement production takes place in China

Of all industrial processes, the cement clinker production process is the largest source of CO2, apart from fossil fuel use. It contributes around 5% to the total of global CO2 emissions from fuel use and industrial activities. With a production increase of 10% in 2007, China now has a share in global cement production of about 50%.

Cement manufacturing is responsible for almost 20% of the total of China’s CO2 emissions, including those from fuel combustion for heating the kilns. After the earthquake which recently hit the Sichuan province, it may be expected that the rebuilding of houses and roads for over 5 million people will cause the cement demand to soar even further.

Weather conditions and high fuel prices affect global energy consumption

High oil prices of recent years have had their impact on oil consumption, causing that of the OECD countries to fall by 0.9% in 2007. In Europe, a relatively warm winter and high fuel prices have had a mitigating effect on CO2 emissions, which decreased by about 2% last year. In 2006, CO2 emissions from the EU-15 remained constant, which was confirmed in a recent report by the EEA, which compiled data from the 15 original Member States. In the USA, relatively cold winter and warm summer temperatures in 2007, combined with a decline in non-fossil-fuelled electricity generation, resulted in increases in CO2 emissions from space heating and cooling. Overall, in the USA in 2007, CO2 emissions increased by 1.8%, compared to 2006.

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