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China passes Europe in gas emissions

By Cheng Yingqi in Beijing | China Daily USA | Updated: 2014-09-24 12:37

China's per capita emissions for the first time exceeded that of Europe in 2013, the Global Carbon Project said in its annual global carbon budget.

The latest budget also shows that China's total carbon dioxide emissions at 9.98 billion tons in 2013 surpassed that of US and Europe combined.

The document was released on Sunday, ahead of the UN Climate Summit 2014, which started in New York on Tuesday.

The Global Carbon Project (GCP) is an organization that quantifies global carbon emissions and their causes. The project has released a global carbon budget annually since 2005.

"What is remarkable this year is that China's per capita emissions outstripped Europe's for the first time," Sybil Seitzinger, executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, said in a news release of the program.

"This is an interesting trend and shows the important role China will play in addressing the climate challenge," Seitzinger said.

Pep Canadell, executive director of Global Carbon Project, said in an email to China Daily: "This certainly is a major change in world order of emitter and makes the case for China to become one of the leaders, if not the global leader, in forging a new international agreement on climate mitigation."

Before this latest budget, survey results showed China's per capita emissions did not weigh against Europe's until the year 2012, when the per capita emission of both China and Europe was 7 metric tons.

"It doesn't necessarily mean that each person is China on average is responsible for those emissions," Canadell said. "This is because China has large carbon-intensive industry, serving both the domestic markets and the international ones."

Dabo Guan, a professor who specializes in climate change economics at the University of East Anglia in the UK, stressed the different roles of both developing countries and developed countries.


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