A new report has revealed that the global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) increased by three percent last year. The emissions hit an all-time high of 34 billion tonnes in 2011.
In China, the world's most populous country, average CO2 emissions increased by nine percent to 7.2 tonnes per capita.
The United States remains one of the largest emitters of CO2, with 17.3 tones per capita, despite a decline due to the recession in 2008-2009, high oil prices and an increased share of natural gas.
These are the main findings of the annual report 'Trends in global CO2 emissions', released by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL).
Emissions from OECD countries now account for only one third of global CO2 emissions, the same share as that of China and India combined, where emissions increased by nine and six per cent respectively in 2011.
Economic growth in China led to significant increases in fossil fuel consumption driven by construction and infrastructure expansion. The growth in cement and steel production caused China's domestic coal consumption to increase by 9.7 percent.
The top emitters contributing to the 34 billion tonnes of CO2 emitted globally in 2011 are: China (29 percent), the United States (16 percent), the European Union (11 percent), India (six percent), the Russian Federation (five percent) and Japan (four percent).
Fortunately, CO2 emission is being mitigated by the expansion of renewable energy supplies, especially solar and wind energy and bio fuels.
The global share of these so-called modern renewables, which exclude hydropower, is growing at an accelerated speed and quadrupled from 1992 to 2011.