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Chinese carbon dioxide emissions eclipse efficiency gains

Boom in manufacturing and export, construction responsible for net increase

12:43pm, March 6, 2009

The rapid growth of China’s export-driven economy earlier this decade fueled a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide emissions that overwhelmed the country’s substantial improvement in energy efficiency, a new analysis reveals.

China’s recent economic growth has made the country the world’s third-largest exporter and its fourth-largest economy. It has also made the Asian dynamo, in one sense, the world’s largest polluter: In 2006, China passed the United States to become the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent anthropogenic greenhouse gas.

Between 2002 and 2007, China’s energy consumption nearly doubled, says Glen Peters, a climate scientist at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research–Oslo. Now Peters and his colleagues have conducted the first detailed analysis indicating which sectors of the Chinese economy most substantially contributed to the

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