The infographic displays interesting data on China and renewable energy.
China Is the Largest CO2 Emitter Today
China’s rapid economic growth in the last several decades lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty. Needless to say, the country’s swift industrialization was accompanied by sharp increase of green house gas emissions. The United States had been at the top in the ranking of annual CO2 emissions for a long time until 2006 when China finally overtook the U.S.. The latest data show that China is responsible for 30% of the global CO2 emissions.
However, it might not be fair to judge only by CO2 emissions. There are always multiple dimensions to an issue. Let’s take a closer look at China and environment, or to be more precise, China and renewable energy.
China Is the Largest Contributor in Green Energy
So, is China the bad guy when it comes to green? Probably not. China, being the largest CO2 emitter, is leading the world in renewable energy field.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports share renewable power capacity data by county for each year. By comparing 2011 data with 2020 data, the following are some of the observations:
- The top 10 faces have not changed in the last decade, although there have been some minor changes in order: China, US, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, India, and Spain are the top 10
- All the top 10 countries increased their capacity to some extent, with China, Japan, and India growing extraordinarily
- The increase is dominantly due to growth in solar and wind energy.
With price of solar energy becoming less and less, the solar energy is likely to prevail in coming years. And this trend will push China’s economy further up since the country is the biggest solar cell manufacturer, producing about 70% of the solar photovoltaic module in the world.
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