In the past 150 years, the United States has emitted more greenhouse gas emissions than any other nation in the world, according to data by the World Resources Institute. In fact, US emissions account for 29 percent of the world’s total since the mid-1800s. The US emitted 328,264 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (MtCO2) in the past 150 years, which is over 3 times the amount emitted by China in the same century-and-a-half.
The US also leads in per capita emissions. In 2005 the US emitted 23.5 tons of greenhouse gases per person the country, this was four times as much as China’s (5.5 tons per person) and over 13 times as much as India’s (1.7 tons per person).
In the report “America’s Share of the Climate Crisis”, which employs World Resources Institute data, the environmental group Greenpeace argues that these statistics puts the brunt of responsibility regarding global climate change square on the shoulders of the US, despite recent attention on developing nations like China and India.
Greenpeace has withdrawn its support for the Waxman-Markey climate change bill that is currently making its way through the legislature. The organization has argued that polluting industries have had too much say in shaping—and watering down—the bill. Greenpeace is now calling on President Obama and the EPA to take action into their own hands to curb the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
(04/21/2009) The U.S. can dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions while reducing energy spending at the same time, reports a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
(04/14/2009) If nations worked together to produce large cuts in greenhouse gases, the world would be saved from global warming’s worst-case-scenarios, according to a new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The study found that, although temperatures are set to rise this century, cutting greenhouse gases by 70 percent the globe could avoid the most dangerous aspects of climate change, including a drastic rise in sea level, melting of the Arctic sea ice, and large-scale changes in precipitation. In addition such cuts would eventually allow the climate to stabilize by the end of the century rather than a continuous rise in temperatures.
(03/19/2009) A new poll released today by Yale and George Mason Universities finds that Americans overwhelmingly—92 percent—support action to reduce global warming. However opinions vary as to how much effort should be put into reducing CO2 emissions and what actions are appropriate.