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Per Capita and Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2005

CO2 emissions in tons per person

Total CO2 emissions in million tons

Per Capita and Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2005

Source: Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

With 3.9 tons, China's per capita CO2 emissions are still relatively low. But the country's rapid economic development and short-sighted infrastructure policy, which is favoring private cars and seriously neglecting public mass transport, will fairly soon make China a large per-capita CO2 emitter. China's per capita CO2 emissions have already surpassed Brazil's, Mexico's and Indonesia's and are more than three times higher than India's.

China's total CO2 emissions of 5.1 billion metric tons in 2005 are comparable to the total CO2 emissions all European countries combined and will soon surpass the total emission amount of the United States of America, which was estimated at 5.8 billion tons in 2005.



China's urban agglomerations are suffocating under the massive increase of road traffic. Beijing, for instance, is building one high-way ring after the other - instead of massively expanding mass transportation, such as the subway network. Beijing's current subway network is far shorter than that of major Western capitals, such as London or New York.

The chart also reveals the ridiculously large per-capita CO2 emissions of the United States of America. There is no reason, other than wasteful practices and sub-standard technology, for the United States, Australia or Canada to emit about twice as much CO2 per capita than the average European country, Japan or the Republic of South Korea. Particularly the very low standards of housing insulation and heating, ridiculously low gas mileage of cars and the low level of public transport contribute to the high per-capita energy consumption of the United States of America.

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This data section was updated on 18 December 2011

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Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved. - 18 April 2012