China's CO2 Emissions Surpass All Developed Nations Combined

Solutions need to be found to curb this worrying upward trend.
Fabienne Lang
Tianjin, China under a fogLiyao Xie/iStock

A report carried out by the Rhodium Group disclosed that for the first time since 1990, China has surpassed the greenhouse gas emissions of all developed countries combined.

The research was published on Thursday, May 6, and estimated that in 2019 China's annual emissions had pushed past other developed countries' ones to take the lead. Just in the last 30 years, China's emissions have more than tripled, getting as high as 14 gigatons of CO2-equivalent. 

The second largest greenhouse gas emitter was the U.S. with 11 percent of global emisisons, followed by India with 6.6 percent, and the E.U. block close behind at 6.4 percent. 

All of this means that China's share of the total 52 gigatons of 2019 global emissions was 27 percent. 

Interestingly, given China's 1.4 billion people, the country's per capita emissions are lower than other developed nations, like the U.S. that has the highest per capita emissions worldwide, but this number still tripled over the past two decades, explained the report.

Greenhouse gas emissions appear to keep gathering speed in some parts of the world, leading countries and companies to try and find innovative solutions to this pressing issue.

Solutions to curb greenhouse gas emissions

As the report explains, CO2 emissions hang around in our atmosphere for hundreds of years. Scientists, and naturalists like Sir David Attenborough in his sustainability-focused documentaries, explain the clear and worrying issues our Earth will face if we don't make serious changes now.

However, removing emissions from our atmosphere and water is no easy, or cheap, task.

That's not to say it's an impossible task. Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis, for instance, recently unveiled the XPrize Competition, which calls upon innovators from all backgrounds to put forward their best ideas to capture CO2 from our atmosphere and water, with a hefty $100 million prize to entice them. 

More companies, and governments are turning towards renewable energies, with some nations coming very close to reaching their full energy needs through such green solutions.

Innovations and new technologies are pushing new boundaries, and companies like the Israeli-based High Hopes that plans on capturing CO2 emissions from our atmosphere by using balloons and going to high altitudes, as New Atlas reported.

There are solutions out there, we just need to harness them so that countries like China either curb their emissions or innovations for capturing and eradicating those emissions are put in place.

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