Global CO2 Emissions Set New Record High in 2011, German Data Shows

Gustavo Madico/CC BY 2.0

New stats from Germany's renewable energy institute show that global CO2 emissions rose 2.5% last year, setting a new record high, Reuters reports. This is a smaller increase than figures released earlier this year, from the IEA, which showed a global increase of 3.2% in 2011.

The relevant numbers to commit to memory, from the German calculations:

  • Carbon emissions in 2011 were 34 billion metric tons (roughly 37.5 billion tons)—50% higher than global emissions in 1990, the normally used baseline for emission reductions (though conspicuously not used by the US and Canada).
  • China is still the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, with 8.9 billion metric tons last year, an increase of 0.6 billion metric tons—about 6.6 metric tons per person, similar to those of low-emitting nations within the European Union.
  • The carbon emissions of the United States in 2011, still in second place, were 6 billion metric tons—roughly 19 metric tons per person.
  • India now has the third highest emissions in the world, followed by Russia, Japan, and Germany.

Tags: Carbon Emissions | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Science