Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue to Rise
International talks to address human-caused global warming began 20 years ago in Rio de Janeiro. But despite attempts to curb emissions of the greenhouse gases responsible, they have continued to pour into the atmosphere since then. Last year was no exception. In 2011, the burning of fossil fuels, as well as other activities such as cement and oil production, produced 3% more carbon dioxide in 2011, bringing this segment of emissions to an all-time 37.5 billion-ton high that year, a European analysis reports.
The past decade has seen a 2.7% annual increase in carbon dioxide emissions. China, the United States, the European Union, India, the Russian Federation and Japan rank as the top five emitters, from highest to lowest. Last year’s increase was driven by China and India, which saw their carbon dioxide emissions jump by 9 and 6%, respectively. Meanwhile, emissions from the European Union, the United States and Japan all decreased, according to the report, Trends in Global CO2 Emissions.