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Backgrounder: current greenhouse gas emissions in China
www.chinaview.cn 2007-06-04 14:49:15
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    BEIJING, June 4 (Xinhua) -- According to the Initial National Communication on Climate Change of the People's Republic of China, the country's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 1994 are 4,060 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

    The total includes 3,070 million tons of carbon dioxide, 730 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent of methane and 260 million carbon dioxide equivalent of nitrous oxide.

    According to tentative estimates by experts from China, its total GHG emissions in 2004 is about 6,100 carbon dioxide equivalent, of which 5,050 million tons of carbon dioxide, 720 million carbon dioxide equivalent of methane and 330 million carbon dioxide equivalent of nitrous oxide.

    From 1994 to 2004, the average annual growth rate of GHG emissions is around 4 percent, and the share of carbon dioxide in total GHG emissions increased from 76 percent to 83 percent.

    China's historical GHG emissions are very low and per capita emission has been below the world average. According to the study carried out by the World Resource Institute (WRI), China's carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion were 79 Mt in 1950, contributing only 1.13 percent of the world total at that time; cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion accounted for only 9.33 percent of the world total during the period of 1959-2002, and the cumulative carbon dioxide emissions per capita are 61.7 tons over the same period, ranking the 92nd in the world.

    Statistics from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that per capita carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion were 3.65 tons in 2004 in China, equivalent to only 87 percent of the world average and 33 percent of the level in Organization for Economic Co-operation and development (OECD) countries.

    Along with steady social and economic development, the emission intensity defined as the carbon dioxide emission per unit of GDP declined generally. According to the IEA, China's emission intensity fell to 2.76 kg carbon dioxide per U.S. dollar (constant U.S. dollar) in 2004, as compared to 5.47 kg carbon dioxide per U.S. dollar in 1990, a 49.5 percent decrease. For the same period, emission intensity of the world average dropped only 12.6 percent and of the OECD countries dropped 16.1 percent.

Editor: Xiao Jie
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