Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Race to the Bottom

In the spirited race to become number one in carbon emissions, China has surpassed the United States. As reported by the Environment News Service, the widespread adoption of coal-fired power plants and expanded cement production facilities have driven China from two percent lower in CO2 emissions to eight percent higher than the United States.

Other figures, based on a study by a Netherlands agency, the Environmental Assessment Agency, include:
In 2006, the total of China’s CO2 emissions from fossil fuels increased by nine percent.

In the USA in that same year, 2006, emissions decreased by 1.4 percent, compared to 2005.

In the original 15 European Union countries, in that same year, CO2 emissions from fossil fuels remained more or less constant.

In 2005 there was a decrease by 0.8 percent, according to a recent report by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency compiling data from the EU member states.

Globally, in 2006, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use increased by about 2.6 percent, which is less than the 3.3 percent increase in 2005.

China's unprecedented industrial growth poses multiple challenges as pressure to use dirty fuel sources, further boosting carbon emissions, grows.