China rises to second place
Suzhou - Human-derived carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere hit an all time high in 2013, 36 billion tonnes. Perhaps not surprisingly, the largest emitters can claim the lion's share of this and continue to dominate the global list: the United States, China, the European Union and India. The biggest news might be China's rapid climb to number two on the list. I myself have pointed out frequently that even though China's total emissions are high, the per capita rate, that is, the amount per person, is rather low. This is a function of course of China's larger population size and lower rate of emissions. But that rate has grown so rapidly that per capita emissions have now exceeded those of the European Union, 7.2 tonnes per person versus the EU's 6.8. It should be noted that in this globalized world, however, a large fraction of China's total emissions are generated during the production of goods consumed largely by the other large emitters. Also, that 7.2. tonnes/person rate, well, it's still well below those of the United States at 16.5 tonnes/person.