Thursday, November 05, 2009

Highest CO2 emitters largely ignored

Further to my earlier post about how climate change negotiations arbitrarily categorise some rather wealthy countries as "developing" and vice versa, it might be better to think of this issue in terms of per capita CO2 emissions. After all, if reducing CO2 emissions matters, then why shouldn't the highest ones be considered the highest priority?

So what countries emit the most per capita? According to Wikipedia they are:

1. Qatar
2. United Arab Emirates
3. Kuwait
4. Bahrain
5. Aruba (a colony of the Netherlands)

So the top five are developing countries.

6. Luxembourg
7. Netherlands Antilles (colony of the Netherlands)
8. Trinidad & Tobago
9. United States
10. Canada

So only now do we get some countries that are considered to be industrialised.

So where does NZ fit in? NZ is 50th.

What developing countries (not territories) (by Kyoto Annex definition) are ahead of NZ in per capita emissions (besides the ones listed above)?

Brunei
Saudi Arabia
Nauru
Oman
Singapore
Israel
Kazakhstan
South Korea
Equatorial Guinea
Turkmenistan
Libya
South Africa

So again, why should New Zealand sign up to do more than any of this lot, when the residents of all of these countries contribute more, per capita, than New Zealanders do?

2 comments:

ZenTiger said...

Perhaps there is a strong correlation between countries who enjoy taxing their citizens (socialists) and those keen to sign up to Kyoto, Copenhagen and whatever else comes next?

Con said...

So again, why should New Zealand sign up to do more than any of this lot, when the residents of all of these countries contribute more, per capita, than New Zealanders do?

What an unambitious slogan. Let Kazakhstan lead the way, and we'll tag along behind - if we can keep up. LOL!

BTW the official justification for why developed countries should make more of an effort (as I'm sure you know) is

(a) that historically they have already emitted more CO2 and thereby incurred more of a "carbon debt" (since that CO2 remains in the atmosphere for a very long time), and

(b) that their carbon-fueled industrial development was largely the source of their present wealth, and hence they can better afford to clean up the mess they made than can developing countries.