Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and cement production per region, 1990-2010. After a decline in CO2 emissions in 2009 of 1% (including a correction for the leap year 2008), global emissions have jumped by more than 5% in 2010, which is unprecedented in the last two decades, also the absolute figure of 1.8 billion tonnes of additional CO2, leading to about 33.0 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions for 2010. Olivier, et al., 2011 /

Paris, France (SPX) Sep 28, 2011 – Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) - the main cause of global warming - increased by 45% between 1990 and 2010, and reached an all-time high of 33 billion tonnes in 2010. Increased energy efficiency, nuclear energy and the growing contribution of renewable energy are not compensating for the globally increasing demand for power and transport, which is strongest in developing countries.

This increase took place despite emission reductions in industrialised countries during the same period. Even though different countries show widely variable emission trends, industrialised countries are likely to meet the collective Kyoto target of a 5.2% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 as a group, partly thanks to large emission reductions from economies in transition in the early nineties and more recent reductions due to the 2008-2009 recession.

These figures were published in the report, Long-term trend in global CO2 emissions, [pdf] prepared by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

The report, which is based on recent results from the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) and latest statistics for energy use and other activities, shows large national differences between industrialised countries.

Over the period 1990-2010, in the EU-27 and Russia CO2 emissions decreased by 7% and 28% respectively, while the USA's emissions increased by 5% and the Japanese emissions remained more or less constant.

The industrialised countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol (so called 'ratifying Annex 1 countries') and the USA, in 1990 caused about two-thirds of global CO2 emissions. Their share of global emissions has now fallen to less than half the global total. […]

At present, the USA emits 16.9 tonnes CO2 per capita per year, over twice as much as the EU-27 with 8.1 tonnes. By comparison, Chinese per capita CO2 emissions of 6.8 tonnes are still below the EU-27 average, but now equal those of Italy. It should be noted that the average figures for China and EU-27 hide significant regional differences.

Long term global growth in CO2 emissions continues to be driven by power generation and road transport, both in industrial and developing countries. Globally, they account for about 40% and 15% respectively of the current total and both have consistent long-term annual growth rates of between 2.5% and 5%. […]

The report shows that the current efforts to change the mix of energy sources cannot yet compensate for the ever increasing global demand for power and transport. […]

Steep increase in global CO2 emissions despite reductions by industrialized countries


  1. Anonymous said...

    So what? CO2 and temperature have never been well correlated especially the last 15 years. CO2 increases are meaningless.  

  2. Jim said...

    Hi Anon,

    Thanks for dropping in. When you say, "CO2 increases are meaningless", are you saying that atmospheric CO2 has no effect on Earth's surface temperature? If so, then you'll have a hard time accounting for the surface temps of Mars and Venus.



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