As the world’s countries gather in Paris for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to discuss action to tackle climate change, here is a reminder of where countries and regions stand in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and by implication which countries and regions can make the largest contributions to reducing GHGs and limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
Unsurprisingly, the two largest economies – the US and China – dominate the image, with China’s recent strong economic growth also boosting the increase in emissions in Asia. Climate change action and awareness in Europe have helped to curb GHG emissions, while a shift away from carbon-intensive industries in Russia has reduced emissions there. More details in Exhibit 1 below.
Exhibit 1: The percentage change of greenhouse gases between 1990 and 2010
Source: OECD, as of 27 November 2015
It is believed there is significant momentum and political will for the 30 November – 11 December conference to be a success and for a climate change mitigation to reach an accord.
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