A new report has emerged stating that Chinese emissions are larger than all of the developed world combined, signalling that the Red Dragon needs to act quickly in order to meet its environmental targets.
Earlier this year, China’s president Xi Jinping made the announcement that China was aiming to become carbon neutral by 2060, with its peak emissions expected by 2030.
At the time of the announcement, Jinping said that “the major strategic decision is made based on our sense of responsibility to build a community with a shared future for mankind and our own need to secure sustainable development.”
According to the latest figures, nearly a decade before China estimates it will reach peak emissions, its share of emissions is larger than the rest of the developed world combined.
The numbers come from a report from the Rhodium Group, who says that in 2019, China emitted a 27% share of the globe’s overall CO2 emissions.
The United States came in second place, accounting for around 11% of the globe’s carbon dioxide emissions, while India (6.6%), the European Union (6.4%) and Indonesia (3.4%) rounded out the top-five of the world’s largest emitters.
Researchers are quick to point out that while China might not have the worst emissions when calculated on a per-capita basis, due to its extremely large population, governments need to make sure that China is held accountable for its lion’s share of emissions.
Chinese Emissions Larger Than Developed World Combined
Authors of the report state that “Using our newly updated global emissions data through 2019, we estimate that that in 2019, for the first time since national greenhouse gas emissions have been measured, China’s annual emissions exceeded those of all the developed countries combined.”
They continue to explain that “China’s emissions were less than a quarter of a developed country’s emissions in 1990, but over the past three decades have more than tripled, reaching over 14 gigatones of CO2-equivalent in 2019.”
While President Xi Jinping has outlined China’s plan to phase-out fossil fuels and increasingly turn to renewable energy generation, as it stands, China is extremely dependent on coal-fired electricity generation.
Currently, China has more than 1,058 coal-fired electricity power generation plants, which is more than 50% of the entire world’s fleet of coal-fired plants.
The US Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry recently travelled to China to secure an agreement about the country’s rising emissions.
The two countries have signed a joint agreement that outlines China’s intention to work with its western partner and reduce its emissions, but specific plans are yet to be released.
The next global Climate Summit is scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November, where world leaders will assemble for the COP26 summit.