For years Chinese global warming pollution has been given a pass of sorts, because per capita Chinese pollution was low and much lower than the average American. Time to rethink the pass is now.
China's total emissions exceeded by 50% in 2010 US emissions, and its per capita emissions may well now be as great as the typical New Yorker. The average New Yorker is responsible for 9 tons of carbon per year, and New York has the lowest per capita emission of any state, a full 8.6 tons less than the American per capita average of 17.6 tons, according to an EIA study of state-level emissions released last week.
China has a population of 1.33 billion people as of 2011 and may have carbon emissions of 11.5 billion tons by the end of 2011. Assuming 1.33 billion people and 11.5 billion tons of emissions, Chinese per capita emissions would be approximately 9 tons--the same as an average New Yorker.
If China has not already exceeded New York's per capita emissions, it will soon.
Given current trends, China also will have greater per capita emissions than the US within a decade. Any future international climate treaty must treat China as the number one carbon polluter it is. No more climate passes to China for any reason and most certainly not because 10 years ago China had low per capita emissions.