China now emits more greenhouse gases than the rest of developed world combined, research shows

Newly released research on May 6, 2021 from Rhodium Group has found that for the first time, beginning in 2019, China’s greenhouse emissions have exceeded those of all developed countries (OECD) combined.

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The research from the Rhodium Group found that China’s emissions exceeded emissions from developed countries combined. 

“Using our newly updated global emissions data through 2019, we estimate that in 2019, for the first time since national greenhouse gas emissions have been measured, China’s annual emissions exceeded those of all developed countries combined.”

“When added together, GHG emissions from all members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as all 27 EU member states, reached 14,057 MMt CO2e in 2019, about 36 MMt CO2e short of China’s total.”

Figure 2

In 1990, China’s emissions were less than a quarter of developed countries emissions combined. This means that over the past three decades, China’s emissions have more than tripled.

In addition, the research found that “China alone contributed over 27% of total global emissions, far exceeding the US—the second highest emitter—which contributed 11% of the global total (Figure 1).”

Additionally, “For the first time, India edged out the EU-27 for third place, coming in at 6.6% of global emissions.”

Figure 1

The Rhodium Group also expects that in the future, China’s per capita emissions will exceed the OECD average beginning in 2020. 

“While final global data for 2020 is not yet available, we expect China’s per capita emissions exceeded the OECD average in 2020, as China’s net GHG emissions grew around 1.7% while emissions from almost all other nations declined sharply in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Figure 3

More details to come. 

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