Average Brit uses a Kenyan’s annual carbon emissions by 13 January
A stark reminder of the UK’s responsibility for climate change
By the end of Friday 13 January 2012, the average person in Britain will have emitted as much carbon dioxide as the average person in Kenya will in an entire year, according to figures from the World Development Movement.
The latest available data shows Kenya’s annual per capita carbon emissions at 0.293 tons, while the UK’s are 8.351 tons. Despite having such little responsibility for causing climate change, Kenyans are facing some of the worst weather related disasters globally. Last year, Kenya and neighbouring East African countries suffered their worst drought in 60 years, resulting in a severe food crisis.
By 2 January the average UK citizen had already emitted as much CO2 as the average person in Chad or Afghanistan will by the end of 2012.
By 16 January the average Brit will have emitted as much CO2 as the average Bangladeshi will all year. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that Bangladesh will face an increasing number of disasters due to typhoons and tropical storms.
By 1 March a UK citizen will have emitted as much CO2 as the average citizen of India will do all year. An estimated 700 million people in India are at direct risk from the impacts of climate change.
Deborah Doane, director of the World Development Movement, said: “This is a stark reminder of the UK’s responsibility for climate change. Developing countries like Kenya make almost no contribution to the problem, yet they face the worst consequences. Meanwhile the UK is failing to make sufficient emissions cuts or to meet its obligations to help poorer countries cope with the effects of climate change.”
Campaigners are calling on the UK government to honour its promise to be the ‘greenest government ever’ by meeting its commitments to reducing emissions under the Climate Change Act. Developing countries have already pledged to make emissions cuts 30 to 50 per cent higher than those of rich countries like the UK, despite their per person emissions being a fraction of those of developing countries.