Nearly half a million people die each year from complications related to China’s air pollution. (Credit: BriYYZ/CC BY-SA 2.0)
China is set to surpass the U.S. as the leading emitter of greenhouse gases, Reuters reported. The trend is measured in cumulative emissions since 1990, the year that world governments began taking action to curb emissions through the U.N.
Experts in Norway and the U.S. project that China will overtake the U.S. in total emissions by 2015 or 2016. The transition is a reflection of China’s rapid economic growth. According to a U.N. principle established in 1992, the magnitude of that growth places China in a position of increased responsibility to mitigate damage to developing nations from carbon emissions.
The U.N. principle allows growing economies, such as those in India and Brazil, to emit greater volumes of greenhouse gases. But with the rapidity of those and other growing nations’ economic development, lines between strong and weak economies are becoming less clear.
Top image: Nearly half a million people die each year from complications related to China’s air pollution. (Credit: BriYYZ/CC BY-SA 2.0)