Car­bon re­al­ity check

Australian Geographic - - Geo Buzz -

AREGION’S TO­TAL CAR­BON emis­sions is not nec­es­sar­ily an ac­cu­rate por­trayal of its in­flu­ence on global warm­ing. Ex­am­in­ing car­bon emis­sions per per­son can be more re­veal­ing.

China, for ex­am­ple, pro­duces 8715 mil­lion met­ric tonnes of car­bon diox­ide ev­ery year, and that cer­tainly makes it the global leader in terms of to­tal emis­sions, fol­lowed by the USA, Rus­sia and India. Aus­tralia, which pro­duces more than

392 mil­lion tonnes, comes 17th on that list.

But what’s the sit­u­a­tion when we mea­sure car­bon pro­duc­tion per per­son? China is a rapidly de­vel­op­ing coun­try with a very high pop­u­la­tion.

When emis­sions are mea­sured per head of pop­u­la­tion, the Asian pow­er­house ranks 50th.

The world leader when it comes to car­bon emis­sions per capita is the Arabian Penin­sula na­tion of Qatar, fol­lowed by the South Amer­i­can twin is­land na­tion of Trinidad and Tobago and then Cu­raçao in the Caribbean Sea.

Here are the top global emit­ters per capita. Aus­tralia’s po­si­tion­ing, well ahead of China and slightly ahead of the USA, is par­tic­u­larly telling.

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