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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Emissions by country

This table from CleanTechnica shows the CO2 emissions for the 20 largest  emitters.  Note that China now emits twice as much as the US and that the top 3 (China, US, India) are 50% of the total.  If you add the EU (roughly 10%) and Japan and South Korea, that's approximately 2/3rds of total emissions.  This is a relatively small group, and it will be much easier to achieve consensus among themselves than at a global forum where all 140 plus countries have a say   And note that all the tiddlers, producing roughly 1% or less, nevertheless make up 1/3rd of total emissions.  If the top 6 agree among themselves to slash emissions, and in fact they all have programs in place, the rest, including Australia, will be under intense pressure to follow suit.


  1. I didn't realize that China was emitting almost twice as much as the US. It would be interesting to see two more columns on the chart -- population and land area. Anyway, it may be true that it is easier to get six people to agree to an action, it may not be any easier to get six governments to agree to anything, especially given how impervious the US Congress is to scientific argument and the opinion of the majority. Am I being too cynical? Maybe…... maybe not. I still remember James Watt, Secretary of the Interior, who said we didn't need to act on environmental concerns because the biblical apocalypse was on its way. And there's the fact that the Koch brothers have so much more powerful free speech rights than the rest of us.
    It's much more likely that economic arguments and economic reality will prevail.

  2. "It's much more likely that economic arguments and economic reality will prevail". Indeed. And the good news is that wind and solar are now cheaper than almost as cheap as alternatives. Battery storage costs are falling very fast too. So the arguments for coal are weakening, while the arguments against it are strengthening. Whatever the Koch brothers say or do.