A recent report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center and the Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency has claimed that global carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions reached a record level in 2011. According to The Trends in Global CO2 Emissions: 2012 Report, global CO 2 emissions in 2011 were 34 billion metric tons, up from 33 billion in 2010.  

In particular, the report attributes the increased CO 2 emissions to “Chinese building construction and expansion of infrastructure, as indicated by the growth in cement and steel production.” The report also notes that China now produces 29 percent of global emissions, followed by the United States at 16 percent, the European Union at 11 percent, India at 6 percent, and Russia at 5 percent. These figures are compared to 1990, when China generated 11 percent of global emissions and the United States generated 22 percent.