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Global emissions of carbon dioxide reach record 34bn tonnes

24 Jul 2012

The Irish Times

FRANK McDONALD, Environment Editor

GLOBAL EMISSIONS of carbon dioxide (CO2) increased by 3 per cent last year, reaching an all-time high of 34 billion tonnes, according to figures compiled by the European Commission's research unit and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

For the first time, per capita emissions in China - the world's most populous country - almost reached European levels, after a 9 per cent increase in 2011 to 7.2 tonnes for each of its 1.34 billion people. EU emissions were 7.5 tonnes per capita, down by 3 per cent. "China is now within the range of six to 19 tonnes per capita emissions of the major industrialised countries", the commission's Joint Research Centre said.

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