Greenhouse emissions by developing countries will surpass those of rich nations this decade
China and other emerging nations are responsible for 48 per cent of cumulative emissions from 1850 to 2010, according to the study by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, research group Ecofys and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.
Therefore, the total greenhouse gas emissions by China and other emerging nations since 1850 will surpass those of rich nations this decade. In fact, the report predicted that their share of cumulative emissions would reach 51 per cent by 2020.
China, with 1.3 billion inhabitants, argues that its per capita emissions since 1850 are still far below those of developed nations, meaning it has less responsibility to rein in emissions than rich nations.
Also, this study said that the biggest emitters since 1850, taken as the start of widespread industrial use of fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases when burnt, were the United States, China, the European Union and Russia.
On the other hand, the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency said that world emissions of carbon dioxide rose by just 1.1 per cent in 2012 to a record 34.5 billion tonnes, a slowdown from annual gains averaging 2.9 per cent since 2000.
“This is remarkable”, it said in a statement. “This development signals a shift towards less fossil-fuel-intensive activities, more use of renewable energy and increased energy saving.”