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Developing economies overtake G7 on tackling climate change



The world’s developing economies, including China and India, have overtaken the world’s richest in cutting carbon emissions, with a 1.7% decrease last year over the G7’s 0.2% decrease, a report by PwC has concluded.

The sixth annual Low Carbon Economy Index report from professional services firm PwC has concluded that the E7, a collection of emerging economies which include the world’s largest manufacturing centres, cut their overall carbon intensity levels by 1.7%, analysed by comparing carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of gross domestic product.

“This, if continued, is a critical development,” said PwC.

In comparison, the G7, which includes the US, Germany and Japan, only managed a 0.2% decrease. Collectively, the report has highlighted that nations are not doing enough to effectively limit the effects of climate change.

China is the world’s largest global emitter, accounting for over 30% of global emissions, followed by the US and then India. On the other hand, both China and India have a rapidly expanding renewable energy industry, with tougher sanctions on coal use and other fossil fuels taking effect.

However, both India and China confirmed their leaders would not be attending the United Nations Climate Change conference this year, in New York, fundamentally undermining attempts to reach a universal agreement over reductions in carbon emissions.

200 countries, at a previous UN climate change summit, established a global objective to not allow temperatures exceed 2C. According to the report, global carbon intensity would have to be reduced by an average of 6% per year to achieve that target. However, last year’s total reductions were only 1.2%, meaning temperatures are now on track to rise by 4C by the end the century.

“A 6 per cent reduction doesn’t sound that dramatic but it’s never been achieved globally and we need to sustain that rate for decades,” said Jonathan Grant, PwC’s director of sustainability and climate change.

Photo source: Braden Gunem via Flickr 

Further Reading:

China and Indian leaders will not attend UN Climate Summit

India to host BASIC summit to discuss climate change

Massive emission reductions needed by 2050 to limit climate change damage, reports UN

UN: climate change investment could secure Africa’s development

IPCC: climate change is man-made and potentially irreversible


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