China is the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter


Pollution By Country 2021

CountryTotal CO2 Emissions (million metric tons)Per Capita CO2 Emissions (metric tons)
United States4,997.5015.53


China will no longer fund coal projects abroad, President Xi Jinping pledges at the UN General Assembly

Posted 15m ago

China will stop funding coal projects overseas, Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced, all but ending the flow of public aid for the dirty energy contributing to the climate crisis.

Mr Xi made his announcement at the UN General Assembly where US President Joe Biden, seeking to show leadership in a growing competition with China, promised to double Washington’s contribution to countries hardest hit by climate change.

China is still investing in coal, reducing the impact of Mr Xi’s commitment, but it is by far the largest funder of coal projects in developing countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh as it goes on a global infrastructure-building blitz with its Belt and Road Initiative.

Mr Xi has vowed to accelerate efforts for China, the world’s largest emitter, to go carbon neutral by 2060.

“This requires tremendous hard work and we will make every effort to meet these goals,” he said in a recorded address.

“China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” Mr Xi said.


Helen Mountford, vice-president for climate and economics at the World Resources Institute, said it was “a historic turning point away from the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel.”

“China’s pledge shows that the firehose of international public financing for coal is being turned off,” she said.

China brought 38.4 gigawatts of new coal-fired power into operation last year — more than three times what was brought on line globally.

Non-governmental groups in a letter earlier this year said the state-run Bank of China was the largest single financier of coal projects, pumping in $US35 billion ($48.2 billion) since the Paris climate agreement was signed in 2015.



20 May 2021 16:10

Analysis: China’s carbon emissions grow at fastest rate for more than a decade

This guest post is by:

Lauri Myllyvirta, analyst at Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air covering air quality and energy trends in China.

China’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have grown at their fastest pace in more than a decade, increasing by 15% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, new analysis for Carbon Brief shows.

The post-pandemic surge means China’s emissions reached a new record high of nearly 12bn tonnes (GtCO2) in the year ending March 2021. This is some 600m tonnes (5%) above the total for 2019.

The analysis is based on official figures for the domestic production, import and export of fossil fuels and cement, as well as commercial data on changes in stocks of stored fuel. 

The CO2 surge reflects a rebound from coronavirus lockdowns in early 2020, but also a post-Covid economic recovery that has so far been dominated by growth in construction, steel and cement.

If emissions in 2021 as a whole match the growth seen over the past 12 months, there would be little room for further increases to 2025, under the targets of China’s 14th five-year plan (14FYP).

The latest increase helped push China’s emissions to a new record high of nearly 12GtCO2 in the 12 months to March 2021, as shown in the chart below. This is nearly 600MtCO2 (5%) higher than the total in 2019, which was unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The reasons for such rapid emissions growth in China relate to the way the country has come out of the coronavirus pandemic on a wave of stimulus spending.

On this basis, around 70% of the increase in emissions in the first quarter of 2021 was due to increased use of coal, with growth in oil demand contributing 20% and fossil gas demand 10%.

Some 60% of the increase in coal use came from the power sector, with the metals industry (15%) and the building materials sector (10%, cement and glass) the next largest contributors.

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