China now has more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the world’s developed countries combined. Imagine being number one for something that heavily affects the climate. This data has been released by the Rhodium group. The Rhodium Group’s goal is to provide original, independent research, data, and analytics on a range of critical global topics. I believe China’s recent peak in emissions is also due to the booming popularity of cryptocurrency mining in the country.
It is to be noted that China has just recently become number one, other nations have been pumping out greenhouse gases as early as 1750. So they’ve affected the environment way more than china has. The data from the Rhodium Group shows that China has surpassed the total emissions of the member of the OECD, which is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
You can look at the graph below.
According to the data, China’s emissions of six greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have risen to 14.09 billion tons in 2019. This means that they are emitting 30 million tons more than all of the OECD members combined. China right now accounts for 27 percent of global emissions while the US contributed about 11 percent. India recently rose to 6.6 percent as well.
Surprisingly this all follows the plans laid down by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who said that China will peak carbon emissions before 2030 and will eventually reach net zero emissions by 2060. Sounds like a very optimistic plan, it’s hard to go from 100 to zero. China also has the world’s largest population so their per capita emissions are lower than the US. The researchers at the Rhodium Group said that “China’s history as a major emitter is relatively short compared to developed countries, many of which had more than a century head start”.
They further explained that “Current global warming is the result of emissions from both the recent and more distant past”. The more interesting thing that the Rhodium Group pointed out was that while all other major countries dropped emissions significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, China’s emissions rose by around 1.7%.
According to Kate Larsen, head of international climate policy research at the Rhodium Group, the reason might be “largely as a result of higher standards of living, comparatively fossil-intensive electric power, and its role as the manufacturer of goods consumed around the world”.
Wait if China plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2060, this means that they’ll also cut down on all the mining operations. At least we have a timeline now.