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The world's 12 largest GHG emitters Last Updated: Monday, December 14, 2009 | 1:41 PM ET Comments108Recommend48CBC News Nearly 200 countries have gathered in Copenhagen to try to put a cap on carbon emissions. But when it comes to curtailing the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming only a handful really count. Indeed, the dozen biggest GHG emitting nations — a select group that includes Canada — account for nearly 80 per cent of the nearly 29 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide and related gases that are released into the atmosphere each year as a result of human activity. If this top group alone could come to some agreement to curtail GHG emissions, the world might rest a little easier. But they are a diverse lot of developing-world manufacturing giants and waning industrial superpowers, all with different energy needs and resource bases. Clicking on the navigation bar on the interactive map below will give you a better sense of this diversity and also outline the emission cuts the "dirty dozen" are proposing for 2020, the next target date for a post-Kyoto world. The full table can be found at the bottom of the page.

Here is a link to the actual page to see the tables...


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The standard measure for GHG emissions is MtCO2e, which stands for megatonne — a million tonnes — of carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas) and its equivalent in related gases. How much is a megatonne of CO2? By volume, it would be enough gas to fill a million two-storey homes, according to Statistics Canada. Average annual Canadian temperatures. (Statistics Canada) When it comes to the international politics of climate change, however, three other elements should probably be kept in mind — historical perspective, per capita emissions and so-called carbon intensity, which varies considerably depending on each country's primary energy resources. Developing nations such as China and India argue strenuously that it has been the industrialized West, the U.S. and Europe in particular, which has been responsible for the vast bulk (70 per cent) of the emissions over the past 60 years and that they now deserve the chance to better their own standards of living. It is a potent argument. But at the same time, China alone is poised to add 75,000 to 100,000 MtCO2e of GHG over the next decade, even with its proposed cuts. When it comes to per capita emissions, it is the oil and coal producing nations, such as the Gulf States and Canada, which rank highest. (Take away Canada's export-driven oil and gas industry, for instance, and we would not be in the top 12.) Some experts suggest a per capita emission quota of between three and five MtCO2e a year, which would allow for growth in much of the developing world, might be the fairest way to bridge the gap. Others, though, say it will take a combination of hard caps on the big emitters as well as per capita and carbon intensity targets if there is to be any kind of workable agreement between such a diverse group. The Dirty Dozen: top 12 GHG emitters in 2007 MtCO2e World emissions % Change since 1990 % Tonnes per capita (rank) Projected emissions in 2020 China 7,527 26 + 52 6 (n/a) 10,914 U.S. 7,107 24.5 + 16 23.6 (3) 5,902 Europe 4,052 14* - 25 10.4 (22) 3,368 Russia 2,193 7.6 - 25 15.4 (8) 2,489 Brazil* 2,022 7* n/a 4 (n/a) n/a India 2,000 6.9 + 45 1 (n/a) n/a Japan 1,374 4.7 + 14 10.8 (18) 952 Germany 956 3.3 - 20 11.6 (17) 972 Canada 747 2.6 + 23 22.7 (4) 577 U.K. 640 2.2 - 10.5 10.5 (20) 619 Italy 553 1.9 + 9 9.3 (27) 413 Australia 541 1.9 + 25 25.8 (2) 414 Sources: World Resources Institute, UN, World Bank, International Energy Association. *Brazil's 2007 emission number includes land-use emissions, unlike others, and neither its nor Europe's total number was used to calculate the per cent of global emissions for the top 12 emitters.
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