2011 Carbon Dioxide Emissions Hit Record High
Preliminary estimates from the International Energy Agency show that global carbon dioxide emissions in 2011 rose by 3.2 percent over 2010 levels, setting a record high of 31.6 gigatons. Coal accounted for 45 percent of the emissions from fossil fuel combustion, 35 percent were from oil, and 20 percent were from natural gas. The largest contributors to the rise in emissions were China and India, with a 9.3 percent and 8.7 percent increase, respectively. Emissions in the U.S., however, fell in 2011 by 1.7 percent, most likely due to the ongoing switch from coal to natural gas and reduced heating demands related to the mild winter.