Just The Facts

Climate Policy and the Developing World

Poor, low-carbon emitting nations are being targeted unfairly.

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  • China’s 1.4 billion people accounted for more than 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions in 2013.
  • Africa’s population could exceed China’s within a decade.
  • Africa's population could double by the middle of century.

1. In 2013, China’s 1.4 billion people accounted for more than 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

2. The entire population of the African continent – 1 billion people – emitted just 1/10th of China’s total CO2 emissions.

3. Africa’s population could double China’s by the middle of the century.

4. The economic prospects of billions of people in China and Africa will depend in large part on growth in production.

5. To reduce emissions, without condemning vast swaths of humanity to unending poverty, requires the development of inexpensive, low-carbon energy technologies.

6. Developing low-carbon energy technologies is therefore mandatory. It will require an investment of significant resources over many decades.

Source: Roger Pielke, University of Colorado, and Daniel Sarewitz, Arizona State University (Financial Times).



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