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In 2019, China was responsible for more than 27% of total global emissions.
According to Rhodium’s analysis, China’s emissions have more than tripled over the past 30 years, in part because the country continues to build coal power plants and fund fossil fuel projects beyond its borders.
Why This Matters: The report shows a growing gap between climate promises and actual emissions reductions. China has announced a net zero by 2060 target and is the world’s largest producer of renewable energy, but it is also a leading polluter running more than 1,000 coal plants. Climate Action Tracker rates the country’s current climate plans “highly insufficient” and “are not at all consistent with holding warming to below 2C.” The country’s rising emissions show the need to allow peoples’ standard of living rise without bringing carbon levels up with them.
More from the report: The Rhodium Group’s report breaks down climate-damaging gas emissions, including land use and forests, which are carbon sinks while living and release the gas into the atmosphere when cut down.
India’s emissions topped the entire European Union bloc. (6.6% of the world’s emissions were from India; 6.4% came from the EU.)
Indonesia, Russia, Brazil, and Japan round out the top eight contributors to emissions worldwide.
In another first, China’s emissions passed 14 gigatons, a 25% increase in the past decade alone.
The U.S. remains the country with the highest emissions per person at 17.6 tons per capita.
Even though China had shuttered coal plants domestically before the pandemic, as QZ wrote, “more than 70% of all coal plants built today are reliant on Chinese funding. Since 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has committed over USD $50 billion in state finance to building 26.8 Gigawatts of overseas coal facilities across 152 countries. That’s just the beginning.”
What’s also troublesome is that China has gone on a “coal binge” to supercharge its economic recovery from the pandemic that experts warm will make its goal of peaking climate emissions by 2030 very difficult.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Two major American automakers are further ramping up their electric vehicle goals. General Motors plans to increase its spending on electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion through 2025, a 30% jump over its most recent forecast. Similarly, Ford Motor Company’s luxury Lincoln brand predicts that about half of […]
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer In the United States, there’s a growing need to scale up high-speed broadband and clean energy infrastructure. A new housing initiative in New York City will take on both with a single project: setting buildings up for solar power, then using the energy cost savings to bring high-speed internet […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer This week, Poland announced it will close the coal-fired Belchatow power plant by the end of 2036. The country’s national energy group opted not to develop an open-pit coal mine to power the plant after deciding it would not make financial sense. The decision comes as Poland’s Lodz region […]
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