China has increased its lead over the US as the world's leading emitter of carbon dioxide, a new study has found. China saw an 8 percent increase in the emissions in 2007.
According to a report in New York Times, the Chinese increase accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the year's global greenhouse gas emissions.
A report released by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, found that in 2007, China's emissions were 14 percent higher than those of the United States.
In the previous year's annual study, the researchers found for the first time that China had become the world's leading emitter, with carbon emissions 7 percent higher by volume than the United States in 2006.
Though many experts had been skeptical of the earlier study, whose results were less clear-cut than those released in the new report, the International Energy Agency had continued to say that China was projected to overtake the United States by the end of 2007.
Now there is little doubt.
"The difference had grown to a 14 percent difference, and that's indeed quite large," said Jos Olivier, a senior scientist at the Dutch agency. "It's now so large that it's quite a robust conclusion," he added.
China's emissions are most likely to continue growing substantially for years to come because they are tied to the country's strong economic growth and its particular mix of industry and power sources, according to researchers.
According to Orville Schell, director of the Center on US-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York, the study was something of a harbinger of things to come, namely, of China's uncontested pre-eminence in this world of rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions.