Workers in the Yaojie coal mine in China
Photo: A2800 epa Michael Reynolds / dpa
According to a new study, China's annual greenhouse gas emissions exceed the emissions of all developed countries combined for the first time.
The most populous country in the world alone contributed 27 percent of global emissions of CO2 equivalents in 2019, estimates the US think tank Rhodium Group.
In this comparison, the USA only achieved eleven percent (2nd place), India 6.6 percent (3rd place).
CO2 equivalents are a unit of measurement for standardizing the climate impact of different greenhouse gases that do not contribute to the greenhouse effect to the same extent and remain in the atmosphere for different periods of time. According to the study, China's emissions exceeded 14 gigatons of CO2e for the first time in 2019. They have tripled since 1990. They have increased by 25 percent over the past decade.
Worldwide emissions climbed to 52 tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2019 - an increase of 11.4 percent over the past decade, as the calculations showed.
With around 1.4 billion people, China's emissions per capita only reach 10.1 tons.
They are slightly below the OECD level of 10.5 tonnes - and significantly lower than in the USA, which, at 17.6 tonnes per capita, contributes much more to global warming.
According to the study, the share per capita is likely to have increased in China in 2020 because its greenhouse gas emissions increased by around 1.7 percent, while in most other countries they decreased due to the corona pandemic.
The reasons are the strong growth and the high proportion of coal in China's energy mix.
The country bases its energy supply around 60 percent on coal.
sbo / dpa