|December 17, 2014|
6 countries produce nearly 60% of world's CO2 emissions
|Six countries produce nearly 60 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions.|
China and the United States combine for more than two-fifths. How they rank, what they're doing:
It emits nearly twice the amount of greenhouse gases as the United States. China accounts for about 30 per cent of global emissions. Hugely reliant on fossil fuels for electricity and steel production. China's Cabinet recently announced a coal consumption cap by 2020 at about 62 per cent of the energy mix.
2013 CO2 emissions: 11 billion tons
2013 Population: 1.36 billion
2 UNITED STATES
The US has cut more carbon pollution than any other nation. It is on pace to meet a 2009 Obama administration pledge to reduce emissions 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020. Carbon emissions are up, though, as the US rebounds from recession. The White House vowed in the China deal to double the pace of emissions reductions, lowering carbon pollution 26 per cent to 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2025.
2013 CO2 emissions: 5.8 billion tons
2013 Population: 316 million
The US-China agreement puts pressure on the Indian government. India struggles to curb greenhouse gases as its population and economy grow. In 2010, India voluntarily committed to a 20 per cent to 25 per cent cut in carbon emissions relative to economic output by 2020 against 2005 levels. It has made recent strides installing solar power, which it is expected to increase fivefold to 100 gigawatts by 2030. Under current policies, its carbon dioxide emissions will double by then, according to the International Energy Agency.
2013 CO2 emissions: 2.6 billion tons
2013 population: 1.2 billion
It never faced mandatory cuts under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol because its emissions fell so much after the Soviet Union collapsed. A major oil and gas producer, Russia in 2013 adopted a domestic greenhouse gas target that would trim emissions 25 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020. Russia's carbon ioxide emissions today average 35 per cent lower than 1990 levels. Russia has set a goal for 2020 of boosting energy efficiency 40 per cent and expanding renewable energy 4.5 per cent. The state-owned gas company Gazprom and the federal housing programme has energy conservation plans. But in 2006, Russia announced a move to more coal- and nuclear-fired electricity to export more oil and natural gas.
2013 CO2 emissions: 2 billion tons
2013 population: 143.5 million
The shuttering of its nuclear power plants after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster forced a drastic change in plans to curb carbon pollution. In November, Japanese officials said they would now reduce greenhouse gases 3.8 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020. With more fossil fuels in the mix, Japan's emissions will be up 3 per cent from 1990 levels - its benchmark for its pledge at a 2009 United Nations summit to reduce emissions 25 per cent. Beginning in 2012, Japan placed a carbon tax based on emissions of fossil fuels, with the proceeds going to renewable energy and energy-saving projects.
2013 CO2 emissions: 1.4 billion tons
2013 population: 127 million
It has outperformed the 21 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases it agreed to in 1997. Emissions are down 25 per cent against 1990 levels. To comply with 2020 European Union-set goals, Germany must reduce greenhouse gases 40 per cent by 2020. Two weeks ago, it boosted subsidies for energy efficiency to help it get there. Germany has in recent years seen back-to-back emissions increases due to higher demand for electricity and a switch to coal after Fukushima, which prompted a nuclear power phase-out. Coal use is down this year and renewables continue to gain electricity market share. Renewables already account for a quarter of Germany's electrical production. The country plans to boost that share to 80 per cent by 2050 -- and put a million electric cars on the road by 2020.
2013 CO2 emissions: 836 million tons
2013 population: 80.6 million