Australians are the world's worst individual greenhouse gas polluters if emissions are calculated from the output of the country's power stations, a new analysis says.
Each Australian produces nearly 11 tonnes of carbon dixoide power sector emissions, the US follows on 9 tonnes per person. China produces only 2 tonnes a year per person and Indians emit about half a tonne per person.
The data was compiled by the Center for Global Development, a Washington-based think tank.
It found that the US had nearly one in six of the world's power stations, and emitted nearly 25 percent of the world's total carbon dixoide emissions.
One surprise in the data, the report said, was that the world's biggest emitters of carbon dixoide in absolute terms are in rapidly emerging economies with huge coal-fired plants. Five of the world's most polluting companies are in China and three in the US.
"High US emissions are partly the result of high living standards but they also reflect differences in government policy. Europeans with comparable living standards emit less than half the power sector CO2 of the average American," said Nancy Birdsall, one of the report's authors.
Power stations are the most concentrated source of greenhouse gases. The world's worst is Taichung in Longjing Township (龍井), Taichung County, which emits 41.3 million tonnes of carbon dixoide per year, the report said.
The US produces 2.79 billion tonnes a year and China 2.7 billion tonnes. They are followed by Russia with 661 million tonnes; India 583 million; Japan 400 million; Germany 356 million; Australia 226 million; South Africa 222 million; the UK 212 million and South Korea with 185 million tonnes.