By Paul HirschbergNATIONAL REVIEW, WASHINGTON—The United States may be the world’s most advanced carbon-intensive economy, but it’s a carbon-fuelled economy with a $1 trillion-plus carbon footprint.
And that’s only a start.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) says it’s possible to put a “price on carbon” for the carbon dioxide emitted during a business or industrial operation, but the U.S. is not one of the nations in the top 10 most polluting economies in the world.
The US is, however, among the least carbon-polluting nations in terms of energy use and its share of the world economy, according to a study released Wednesday by Carbon Tracker.
The United States is also among the countries with the lowest carbon emissions per capita, even after accounting for other factors such as per capita GDP, manufacturing and exports.
The study says the U, with its low carbon emissions, ranks in the bottom 20 per cent of nations in its share-of-world economy with per capita emissions of around 10.8 metric tons per person per year, or about 0.2% of global emissions.
The top 20 countries that are most carbon-dense include China, Russia, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Canada is among the most carbon efficient nations with a carbon emissions of 3.4 metric tons.
Carbon Tracker says the United states ranks in last place in per capita global emissions, despite the fact that it’s one of only three countries in the Top 20 in terms, with the other two being the UK and France.
It also ranks among the top 20 per capita in terms with its carbon emissions in terms that include both emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) and emissions per ton of carbon dioxide.
Carbon emissions per person were higher in 2016 than they were in 2000.
In the U-20 group, the U and Canada have both grown in per person emissions while the UK, the top emitting nation, has dropped in emissions per head.
The U.K. had a carbon emission rate of 2.3 metric tons of CO2 in 2020, according the Carbon Tracker study.
The U.N. has set a goal of reducing global emissions to 27% below 1990 levels by 2050, with countries set to contribute their share of that goal.
The United Kingdom is leading the way in reducing emissions and is on track to do so by 2020, the study found.
That’s a big step in the right direction, but that’s a tall order given the amount of CO 2 currently in the atmosphere.
Carol Miller, a senior researcher at Carbon Tracker, said the study confirms that we’re moving towards a more carbon-neutral future.
She said if the U’s goal of cutting its emissions to 21% of 1990 levels is not met, the world could see the world lose the opportunity to meet its climate goals.
“We can’t afford to have this carbon-based economy,” Miller said.
Miller said the U is still on track, but there is still a lot more work to do to reach the goals.
For example, the report says, the global energy sector has increased by almost 400 million barrels of oil per day over the past decade, which could result in a rise in global CO 2 emissions.
“The next 10 years are likely to be the most important 10 years for the world to reduce emissions because the transition to a cleaner energy economy is occurring, but we still have a long way to go,” Miller added.
In its study, Carbon Tracker also noted that some countries that have been doing a lot of the work to reduce carbon emissions have also experienced significant improvements in their economies and growth rates, such as China and India.
Miller said that’s because many of the policies that countries have taken to tackle CO 2 and climate change have been adopted at the local level.
The report says that in many countries, policies have been put in place that are not in line with international standards.
For instance, China has made carbon-reduction efforts in recent years more aggressive than the United Nations.
China, which was ranked the third most polluter in the World in 2020 according to the UNAIDS, has increased its share in the global economy from 15.4% to 23.4%, according to Carbon Tracker’s analysis.
The study says that this is due to China’s increased use of coal and other fossil fuels to generate power.
But Miller said that while China is making progress, other countries are not as much in the driver seat.
For instance, the Middle East is still developing and does not have the kind of robust energy sector as countries in Asia do.
In order to meet the goals of the U in 2020 and 2030, the group says the countries in that region should cut their carbon emissions by as much as 50%