A fact’s a fact …
- Cumulative CO2 emissions by Western countries are 5 times those of China
- China’s cumulative CO2 emissions = 220 billion tonnes (13% of world total cumulative emissions)
- West’s cumulative CO2 emissions = 1148 billion tonnes (70% of world total cumulative emissions)
- United States cumulative CO2 emissions = 400 billion tonnes (25% of world total cumulative emissions)
- US contribution to cumulative CO2 emissions is more than any other country in the world with only 4.25% of the total world population and only 22.9% of China’s total population.
Cumulative (or historical) CO2 emissions are important because CO2 (and some other green house gases) persist for many years in the atmosphere. This means that a significant proportion of CO2 emissions accumulate over time both in the atmosphere and in the oceans.
Many of the large annual emitters today – such as India and Brazil – are not large contributors in a historical context. Africa’s regional contribution – relative to its population size – has been very small cumulative emissions.
** The West here includes: USA, European Union, Non-EU Europe, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and Australia.
Article was originally posted in China Environment News Facebook page 13 May 2021.