Explaining low carbon development in Asia

The case of China

Authored by: Sarah Van Eynde , Bettina Bluemling , Hans Bruyninckx

Routledge Handbook of Environment and Society in Asia

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415659857
eBook ISBN: 9781315774862
Adobe ISBN: 9781317685715

10.4324/9781315774862.ch24

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Abstract

Asian emerging economies are among the world’s most rapidly changing societies. As a result, those countries’ energy demand has increased massively. In 2011, emerging economies accounted for all of the net growth of global energy consumption, with China alone accounting for 71 percent of global energy consumption growth (BP 2012). Considering their appetite for energy, Asian emerging economies, unsurprisingly, also account for the bulk of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission growth. In 2011, global GHG emissions from fossil fuel combustion reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt), representing an increase of 3.2 percent over 2010 (IEA 2012). China made the largest contribution to the global increase, with its emissions rising by 720 million tonnes, or 9.3 percent, and per capita emissions approaching per capita emissions in the European Union (PBL 2012). India’s emissions rose by 140 million tonnes, or 8.7 percent, thus becoming the fourth largest emitter behind China, the United States, and the European Union (IEA 2012).

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