NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

As U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fall, Global Emissions Increase

March 7, 2011

Global carbon dioxide emissions may be rapidly rising, but the United States is not to blame, according to newly released data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  U.S. carbon dioxide emissions declined 6 percent in 2009 and are now 8 percent below 2000 levels, the EPA reports.  Global emissions, by contrast, have risen more than 25 percent since 2000, says James M. Taylor, a senior fellow for environment policy at the Heartland Institute.

Underdeveloped nations, which are not required to make emissions cuts under the Kyoto Protocol, accounted for virtually all of the global increase in carbon dioxide emissions since 2000.  In fact, China, which is exempt from Kyoto Protocol emissions cuts, accounted for roughly half the global increase.

  • In 2005 China was the second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, trailing slightly behind the United States.
  • By 2009, however, China accounted for 24 percent of global emissions, compared to just 17 percent for the United States.

Source: James M. Taylor, "New EPA Data Show Futility Of U.S. Carbon Dioxide Restrictions," Forbes, February 24, 2011.

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