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U.S., China lead in emissions, IEA finds

China's per-capita emissions surge, while U.S. contribution moves lower.

By Daniel J. Graeber
U.S., China lead in emissions, IEA finds
China and the United States account for a bulk of the total global emissions, but China's per-capita rate far exceeding the rest of the world. File photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

PARIS, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- More than half of all global emissions came from 10 countries, with China and the United States leading the pack, the International Energy Agency said.

Analysis published Wednesday by the IEA, which has headquarters in Paris, said emissions of carbon dioxide related to the energy sector increased globally by 2.2 percent in 2013, compared with a 0.6 percent increase the previous year.

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Data show that about 60 percent all of emissions generated in 2013 came from 10 countries. China and the United States accounted for the bulk of the emissions, with 26 percent and 16 percent of the total, respectively.

Per-capita emissions, meanwhile, increased globally by 16 percent between 1990 and 2013. China in that time more than tripled its per-capita emissions, while the United States saw a 16 percent decrease in emissions per-capita. Russia lead the way with a per-capita emission decline of 26 percent through 2013, though most of that came in the immediate wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

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IEA data show that, in terms of fuel type, coal use declined when compared against oil and natural gas, though it accounted for 46 percent of all CO2 emissions. Coal is nearly twice as carbon intensive than natural gas on average.

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The energy landscape is changing, however. IEA finds coal and oil accounted for about 40 percent of total global CO2 emissions between the late 1980s and early 2000s. Coal increased its share of emissions from 40 percent in 2002 to 46 percent in 2013, while oil's footprint declined from 39 percent to 33 percent primarily because of usage patterns in countries not party to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Two sectors -- electricity and heat, and transport -- accounted for well over half of all the total global Co2 emissions in 2013, IEA data show.

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Overall emissions from the energy sector for 2012 and 2013 were below the average growth rate of 2.5 percent since 2000.

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