1.2 Current GHG Emissions in China
According to the Initial National Communication on Climate Change of the People's Republic of China, China's total GHG emissions in 1994 are 4.06 billion tons of CO2 equivalent (3.65 billion tons of net emissions), of which 3.07 billion tons of CO2, 730 million tons of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) of CH4 and 260 million tCO2e of N2O. According to tentative estimates by experts from China, China's total GHG emission in 2004 is about 6.1 billion tCO2e (5.6 billion tons of net emissions), of which 5.07 billion tons of CO2, 720 million tCO2e of CH4 and 330 million tCO2e of N2O. From 1994 to 2004, the annual average growth rate of GHG emissions is around 4 percent, and the share of CO2 in total GHG emissions increased from 76 percent to 83 percent.
China's historical GHG emissions are very low and per capita emissions have been below the world average. According to the study carried out by the World Resource Institute (WRI), China's CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion were 79 Mt in 1950, contributing to only 1.13 percent of the world total at that time; cumulative emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion accounted for only 9.33 percent of the world total during the period of 1950-2002, and the cumulative CO2 emissions per capita are 61.7 tons over the same period, ranking 92nd in the world. Statistics from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that per capita CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion were 3.65 tons in 2004 in China, equivalent to only 87 percent of the world average and 33 percent of the level in Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) countries.
Along with the steady social and economic development, the emission intensity defined as the CO2 emission per unit of GDP declined generally. According to IEA, China's emission intensity falls to 2.76 kgCO2/US$ (constant 2000 price) in 2004, as compared to 5.47 kgCO2/US$ in 1990, a 49.5 percent decrease. For the same period, emission intensity of the world average dropped only 12.6 percent and that of the OECD countries dropped 16.1 percent.