Image via asnsw
The average Australian now emits more carbon dioxide than the average American--which means Australia has surpassed the United States, claiming the dubious distinction of world's largest per-capita carbon emitter. Canada's a close third, and fast-developing powerhouses like China and India are still way behind in per-person emissions. Read on to find out how many tons of carbon an average person from each country sends into the atmosphere.Australia has been the worst per capita emitter before--and it remains an epic battle between the US. Now, each Australian emits 20.58 tons of carbon every year, according to a new study from Maplecroft--from driving, and from his/her reliance on coal power (how Australia gets the vast majority of its electricity). That's nearly a whole ton more than the average US citizen, who emits 19.81 tons. Americans are big on driving and coal power too--we get more than half our electricity from the dirty stuff.
Canada's quite the contender too, however--at 19.78 tons per person, they're right there in the ring with the heavyweights.
Further validating the nation's arguments that its still an extremely low per capita carbon emitter is the revelation that each Indian citizen is on average only responsible for emitting 1.16 tons of CO2--astronomically lower than the heaviest emitters from developed countries. China's more of a heavy polluter, clocking in at 4.5 tons of emissions per person.
While it's certainly interesting just to know how much carbon the average citizen in countries contributes, the study supports some key arguments by developing nations: namely, that the wealthy are responsible for far more of the world's share of carbon emissions, and should share in more of the costs of counteracting climate change. Both India and China have demanded that the US commit to stronger carbon cuts before they set their targets, and that some lenience must be given while they industrialize.
See also: Illegal Logging Makes Indonesia World's Third Largest Emitter of Greenhouses Gases
More on World Carbon Emissions
53% of Global Carbon Emissions Come From the Developing World : Oak
A Picture is Worth... Seeing the World in Carbon Emissions