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Cop15 breakthrough: world's top 3 CO2 emitters agree on accord, foundation for eventual legally binding treaty

By WcP.Common.Sense - Posted on 18 December 2009

Top: US President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South African President Jacob Zuma; Bottom: world CO2 emission by country 2006

Only giant emitters’ cut can significantly reduce CO2 in the atmosphere - remember that 10 countries China, U.S. India, Russia, Japan… are responsible for 80% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. “Significant breakthrough” at Copenhagen Climate Change Conference this afternoon: China, US, India & South Africa have agreed to a political accord that will “provide the foundation for an eventual legally binding treaty”, “nations will list their actions and stand behind them.” Today Chinese officials agreed to report to an international mechanism, “for the first time these emerging economies have agreed to take significant action to combat climate change,” and have agreed to the core components - mitigation, transparency, and financing. At last, we see the hope beaming to Earth, and the chance for Mankind’s survival.

A melting ice sculpture of a polar bear in Copenhagen, where scientists told the climate change conference that carbon emissions must fall within 10 years.


"Significant Breakthrough" at Copenhagen

A senior administration official, speaking to ABC News, heralded what he called a “significant breakthrough” at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this afternoon.

President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South African President Jacob Zuma have agreed to a political “accord” that the official said will “provide the foundation for an eventual legally binding treaty.” In the accord, the official said, “nations will list their actions and stand behind them.”

The Chinese have for weeks been reluctant to agree to ways for the international community to verify that they’re abiding by pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But today Chinese officials agreed to report to an international mechanism, the official said.

“For the first time these emerging economies have agreed to take significant action to combat climate change,” the official said, adding that the leaders of the four nations have agreed to the core components President Obama laid out in his address this morning upon arriving in Denmark –mitigation, transparency, and financing.

Increase of carbon dioxide level and change in fossil energy consumption: CO2 levels in the past 1000 years, based on ice sheet core records (D47, D57, Siple station, South Pole point), and CO2 levels since 1958, measured at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Ice sheet cores were all collected on the Antarctic Continent. The smooth curve is a 100-year running average. A rapid increase of CO2 levels since the start of the Industrial Revolution is apparent, essentially in parallel with the increase in CO2 emissions originating from fossil fuels (refer to the enlarged chart since fiscal 1850). Source: IPCC (1995), translated by the Meteorological Agency. Source: Year 2000 Environmental White Paper (compiled by the Environment Agency)

He defined “mitigation” as every major economy putting forward “decisive national actions that will reduce their emissions, and begin to turn the corner on climate change.” The US goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “in the range of 17 percent by 2020, and by more than 80 percent by 2050 in line with final legislation.”

Transparency, he defined as having “a mechanism to review whether we are keeping our commitments, and exchange this information in a transparent manner. These measures need not be intrusive, or infringe upon sovereignty. They must, however, ensure that an accord is credible, and that we're living up to our obligations.” An agreement without that would “be a hollow victory,” he said.

Third, the president pushed the world’s wealthier economies to help “developing countries adapt, particularly the least developed and most vulnerable countries to climate change.” The White House has been working on getting sign-off from the group of developing nations known as the G-77 by working with Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zinawi, the official said.

People gather for the 'Ultimatum Climate' flash mob in Paris ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be hosted in Copenhagen.

List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions

List of worst 23 emitters, top 10: China, US, India -

Rank | Country | Annual CO2 emissions (in thousands of metric tons) | Percentage of global total
- World 28,431,741 100.00%
1 China 6,103,493 21.50%
2 United States 5,752,289 20.20%
3 Russia 1,564,669 5.50%
4 India 1,510,351 5.30%
5 Japan 1,293,409 4.60%
6 Germany 805,090 2.80%
7 UK 568,520 2.00%
8 Canada 544,680 1.90%
9 South Korea 475,248 1.70%
10 Italy 474,148 1.70%
11 Iran 466,976 1.60%
12 Mexico 436,150 1.60%
13 South Africa 414,649 1.50%
14 France 383,148 1.40%
15 Saudi Arabia 381,564 1.30%
16 Australia 372,013 1.30%
17 Brazil 352,524 1.20%
18 Spain 352,235 1.20%
19 Indonesia 333,483 1.20%
20 Ukraine 319,158 1.10%
21 Poland 318,219 1.10%
22 Thailand 272,521 1.00%
23 Turkey 269,452 1.00%

India third biggest CO2 emitter in world

India is the third biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, with state-owned NTPC topping the list of companies belching the deadly gas, according to new data released by a Washington-based think tank which has advocated an "energy revolution" in the country based on solar power.

The Center for Global Development (CGD) said that India figures at the third position in the list of biggest CO2 emitters through power generation after China and the United States.

list of countries by carbon dioxide emissions
China, U.S. & India top 3 carbon emitters of the world

China is the world's worst polluting nation with the highest overall annual emission of greenhouse gases (6,018 million tonne), and U.S. is the world's 2nd polluting nation. However, in terms of per capita emissions it is ranked 44th in the world, emitting 4.5 tonne (per person). It has a renewable energy target (15% of total energy by 2020) and an energy efficiency target (20% reduction by 2010). China has pledged to cut its carbon intensity goal by 40-45% by 2020.

Meanwhile, Australia has the world's highest per capital carbon dioxide emissions from energy use, according to the Maplecroft's CO2 Energy Emissions Index. An average Australian emitted 20.58 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. The United States is the second worst per capita carbon emitter with for 19.78 tonnes of emission per person as well the 2nd overall annual emission of greenhouse gases.

America is also ranked the world's second highest polluter with 5,903 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission. President Barack Obama plans to cut emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020. Canada was third, followed by the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

China's Rise to Top CO2 Emitter Fueled by Export Production — China has become the world leader in carbon emissions largely because of the sharp growth in the production of exports -- the majority of them going to developed countries, according to a new study.


Photos courtesy of Reuters, EPA / BGNES, Sustainable Developments /, India Journal, Xinhua, White House Photo, Wikipedia, and

Original Source: ABC News, American Ceramic Society, Wikipedia, and India Times, Urdu News, CommodityOnline, and Digg

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