As noted on these pages, China is the biggest in an increasing number of areas – not all of them positive, but mostly reflective of the sheer scale of the country, and speed of growth. The latest headline relates to carbon emissions, and confirms other research, reported earlier . From news.com.au:
“CHINA has leapfrogged the US as the world’s biggest carbon emitter and India is heading for third place, scientists say in a report that warns global greenhouse-gas levels are scaling record peaks.
The report, by a research consortium called the Global Carbon Project (GCP), confirms an estimate that China has become the biggest producer of carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal gas that causes global warming.
Until 2005, rich countries emitted most of the world’s man-made CO2. Today, developing countries now accounted for 53 per cent of the total, the GCP said.
…In 2007, China emitted 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon from fossil fuels, compared with 1.59 billion by the United States.
…In November 2006, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that China would overtake the United States as No.1 carbon polluter by 2010.
…But in June 2007, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency said China had already become the biggest emitter the previous year, thanks to soaring demand for coal and a surge in cement production.”
There is little doubt that China has a problem in this area, and that it is a political and economic issue, as well as an environmental one. But balancing the aspirations of over a billion Chinese people (enjoying low per capita consumption) with rich-world populations (and their high per capita consumption) will not be easy.
See news source:
China overtakes US in carbon emissions 
NEWS.com.au – Australia
CHINA has leapfrogged the US as the world’s biggest carbon emitter and India is heading for third place, scientists say in a report that warns global …