China’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 exceeded those of the U.S. and the developed world combined, according to a report published Thursday by research and consulting firm Rhodium Group.
China’s emissions more than tripled during the past three decades, the report added.
China is now responsible for more than 27 percent of total global emissions. The U.S., which is the world’s second highest emitter, accounts for 11 percent of the global total. India is responsible for 6.6 percent of global emissions, edging out the 27 nations in the E.U., which account for 6.4 percent, the report said.
The findings come after a climate summit President Joe Biden hosted last month, during which Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated his pledge to make sure the nation’s emissions peak by 2030. He also repeated China’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century and urged countries to work together to combat the climate crisis.
“We must be committed to multilateralism,” Xi said during brief remarks at the summit. “China looks forward to working with the international community, including the United States, to jointly advance global environmental governance.”
Xi said China would control coal-fired generation projects and limit increases in coal consumption over the next five years, with reductions taking place in the five years following that.
However, Chinese officials have also emphasized that economic growth, which is still largely dependent on coal power, remains a priority. And the nation is still increasing construction of coal-fired power plants.
For instance, the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China together funded $474 million worth of coal projects outside China in 2020 alone. And coal accounted for more than half of China’s domestic energy generation last year, according to Li Gao, director general of China’s ecology ministry’s department of climate change.