As reported yesterday by the Global Carbon Project in its Carbon Budget 2012 report, the top four emitters of carbon from fossil fuel combustion and cement production in 2011 covered 62% of global emissions: China (28%), United States (16%), EU27 (11%), and India (7%). These four entities emitted about 5.62 billion tons of carbon. (Multiply by 3.67 to get the carbon dioxide output which then equals about 20.6 billion tons.) You can see that the US and the EU have stabilized and even lowered their emissions in recent years.
This next graphic underscores what’s being shown above: that the developing nations, led by China and India, are increasing their emissions at alarming rates. In fact, China was responsible for 80% of the global emissions growth in 2011.
Here’s the money slide for me. It illustrates that if we stay on our present track, we’re headed to a global climate catastrophe of a 4.0 to 6.1° C rise in global temperature above preindustrial levels.
The many good folks in Doha have to keep their focus and advance us further toward climate sanity, but it’s going to take a lot more than just what the UNFCCC are doing. It’s going to take a lot of blood, toil, tears and sweat from the whole universe of us who are working to make peace with the planet.
(Beyond the work of the Global Carbon Project, for more on these numbers and others related to carbon dioxide emissions, go to the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center and the Energy Information Agency, both of the US DOE.)