Chapter 10: Meeting the climate change challenge
Exceptional global population growth and altered economic circum- stances have exerted additional pressure on the environment, with the planet now counting over seven billion inhabitants and the global economic output increasing twenty fold. Rapidly rising demand and consumption of energy have driven global warming and climate change. Between 1990 and 2007, world gross domestic product increased 156 percent, accompanied by a 39 percent increase in global energy demand, resulting in a 38 percent rise in global CO2 emissions. In 2010, globally averaged mixing ratios of greenhouse gases reached new highs, according the World Meteorological Organization. Currently, according to the International Energy Agency, the top CO2 emitting countries are: China, the US, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, Canada, South Korea, the UK. These top ten emitters account for approximately two-thirds of the world’s CO2 emissions. The largest five emitters (China, US, India, Russia, and Japan) comprised 45 percent of the total global population and produced 56 percent of the global CO2 emissions in 2009. Emerging economies are responsible for the net growth in global energy consumption growth, with China alone accounting for 71 percent, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy (June 2012). Meanwhile, energy consumption by OECD countries, led by Japan, declined. The highest levels of emissions per GDP are observed in the Middle East and the Economies in Transition (EIT). It is also important to note the nuances in the figures: for example, the large share of the US emissions in the overall global total is commensurate with its share of economic output,
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