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China now no. 1 in CO2 emissions; USA in second position

Press release | 18-06-2007

China’s 2006 CO2 emissions surpassed those of the USA by 8%. This includes CO2 emissions from industrial processes (cement production). With this, China tops the list of CO2 emitting countries for the first time. In 2005, CO2 emissions from China were still 2% below those of the USA. These figures are based on a preliminary estimate by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP), using recently published BP (British Petroleum) energy data and cement production data.

Cement clinker production large CO2 source in China

The use of fossil fuels and industrial processes are the dominant man-made sources of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the most important greenhouse gas emitted because of human activity. Of all industrial processes, cement clinker production is the largest source of CO2. It contributes around 4% to the total of CO2 emissions from fuel use and industrial activities, globally. China has a large share in global cement production (about 44% in 2006) and nationally their share in CO2 emissions is almost 9% (550 megatonne out of a total of about 6200 megatonne of CO2).

China, USA & EU

In 2006, the total of China’s CO2 emissions from fossil fuels increased by 9%. In the USA in 2006, emissions decreased by 1.4%, compared to 2005. In the European Union countries (the ‘EU 15’) in that same year, CO2 emissions from fossil fuels remained more or less constant; in 2005 there was a decrease by 0.8%, according to a recent report by the EEA compiling data from the member states.


More information

For further information, please contact the PBL Press Office (+31 70-3288688 or persvoorlichting@pbl.nl).