The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated, indicating weak efforts at slowing man-made global warming by the world's largest CO2 polluters. Worldwide emissions of CO2 soared by 6%, about 564 million more tons, in 2010. Extra pollution in China and the U.S. accounts for more than half the increase in emissions, according to Greg Marland, Professor of Geology at Appalachian State University.
At the time of the 2009 Copenhagen Conference, the United States and China accounted for 40 percent of world CO2 emissions. China is the world's biggest emitter of CO2 while the United States has the highest per capita emission of CO2. Neither country wants its own production to become more expensive. An article in Der Spiegel challenges the two countries to enter into competition for the best green technologies, the most efficient automobiles, and the strongest job growth in the environmental sector.
The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago. That scenario predicted a worst cast scenario of 10 degrees Fahrenheit during this century. Chinese emissions now exceed ours by and will be double ours by 2020 if China continues to build a coal plant a week.