Being an Australian, it’s information like this that really make me cringe.
Dr Mike Raupach, from CSIRO’s Global Carbon Project and the lead author of a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today, states that while Australians make up less than one third of one percent of the world’s population, we generate 1.43 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Australia’s per person emissions in 2004 were 450% higher than the global average, and only just below the USA. Over the last 25 years the growth rate of Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions around double the growth rate for the entire world.
Interesting to note that Australia and the USA are the only two signators to the Kyoto Protocol who have refused to ratify it; i.e. be legally bound to take certain steps with view to reduce emissions; even though under the terms of Kyoto, Australia was actually permitted to increase emissions to a degree.
China is often painted as the villain when it comes to CO2; but Dr Mike Raupach states that China’s emissions per person are still below the global average. For example, the average Australian and American generates over five tonnes of carbon per year, while the average Chinese person generates around one tonne of CO2 emissions per year.
Added to that, I’d like to point out that much of China’s emissions are through their production of goods destined for Western markets. As I’ve said before; in a sense we’re just outsourcing carbon emissions.
Read more of the CSIRO press release
Learn more about the Kyoto Protocol