According to a study released by the The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency China has overtaken the US as the top emitter of CO2 into the atmosphere (the greenhouse gas most linked to rising global average temperatures). However, because there are so many more people in China than in the US ... the average citizen of the US wins the title of most CO2 emitted per person. Europeans are among the top five in both lists... so there's lots of work to do throughout the world.
"China tops the list of CO2 emitting countries, having about a quarter share in global CO2 emissions (24%), followed by the USA (21%), the EU-15 (12%), India (8%) and the Russian Federation (6%)"
"Top 5 CO2 emissions in metric tons of CO2 per person are: USA (19.4), Russia (11.8), EU-15 (8.6), China (5.1 ) and India (1.8)"
Pundits and politicians have been using the rising CO2 emissions from China and India as reasons prevent the US from spending money to curb emissions on the grounds that lowering US emissions will be meaningless if China and India do not also reduce their emissions.
I think the US should act and show some moral leadership - reducing the US Carbon footprint by 10 or 20% would significantly reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere... BUT the punditry is correct on some points... the Chinese and Indian share of the global emissions pie IS growing... the world community must find a way to reduce CO2 emissions all over the world... it's not just science, fancy engineering and people recycling locally ... we need some geopolitical heavy hitters to resolve USA's and China's 'you first' attitude to reducing emissions.