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People's Republic of China Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions

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According to reported energy statistics, coal production and use in China has increased ten-fold since the 1960s. As a result, Chinese fossil-fuel CO2 emissions have more than doubled 2000 alone. At 1.92 billion metric tons of carbon in 2008, the People's Republic of China is the world's largest emitter of CO2 due to fossil-fuel use and cement production. Even with the reported decline in Chinese emissions from 1997 to 1999, China's industrial emissions of CO2 have grown phenomenally since 1950, when China stood tenth among nations based on annual fossil-fuel CO2 emissions. From 1970 to 1997, China's fossil-fuel CO2 emissions grew at an annual rate of 5.4%. Growth has occurred largely in the use of coal, not suprising given China is easily the world's largest coal producer, which accounted for 98.7% of the emissions total in 1950 and 73.3% in 2008. Liquid fuels now contribute 14.7% of emissions and have grown appreciably over the past decade. The anomalous peak for 1958-61 is common in Chinese data. These years are part of the period "The Great Leap Forward," and whether the anomaly represents a real event in CO2 emissions or a data residual is not clear. China is the world's largest hydraulic cement producer. In 2008 China produced over 1.38 billion metric tons of hydraulic cement, almost half of the world's production. Emissions from cement production account for 9.8% of China's 2008 total industrial CO2 emissions. China's population has doubled since 1960 and now exceeds 1.3 billion people. Per capita emissions increased considerably over this period and 2006 marked the first year China's per capita emission rate (1.32 metric tons of carbon) exceeded the global average (1.27 metric tons of carbon). China's per capita emission rate now stands at 1.43 metric tons of carbon.


CITE AS: Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres. 2011. Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2011