China biggest CO2 emitter last year

THE HAGUE (AFP) – China’s carbon dioxide emissions in 2007 were about 14 percent higher than the United States and accounted for two-thirds of the global rise, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) have said.

With an eight percent national increase, China’s carbon dioxide emissions contributed the bulk of last year’s 3.1 percent global rise in CO2 emissions, according to a statement released on the last day of a United Nations conference on climate change in Bonn, Germany.

“With this, China tops the list of CO2 emitting countries, having about a quarter share in global CO2 emissions (24 percent),” it said.

The United States was second with 21 percent, while the European Union was at 12 percent, India eight percent and Russia six percent, said the statement.

Cement clinker production was a major cause of the emissions, and with an increase of 10 percent in 2007 China now accounted for about 51 percent of global cement production, said the PBL.

“After the earthquake which recently hit the Sichuan province, it may be expected that the rebuilding of houses and roads for over five million people will cause the cement demand to soar even further,” it said.

Warmer winter weather and high fuel prices contributed to a two percent drop in CO2 emissions in Europe last year, it added.

But in the US, a cold winter and warm summer contributed to rising carbon emissions from heating and cooling functions. Overall in the US last year, CO2 emissions rose by 1.8 percent.

“Since population size and level of economic development differ considerably between countries, the emissions expressed per person show a largely different ranking,” added the agency.

The US topped the list of C02 emissions per person measured in metric tonnes with 19.4, followed by Russia with 11.8, the EU with 8.6, China with 5.1 and India with 1.8.

The figures were compiled from recently published British Petroleum energy data and cement production data for 2007.

In the current global warming talks, the US and other Western nations have balked at making mandatory cuts in greenhouse gases as developing nations like China are not required to slash emissions under the UN climate change framework.

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