Published online 14 November 2007 | Nature 450, 327 (2007) | doi:10.1038/450327a
Corrected online: 16 November 2007

News in Brief: Graphic Detail

Countries with highest CO2-emitting power sectors (tonnes per year)

World's most CO2-emitting power stations revealed.

The city of Taichung in Taiwan is home to a power plant that emits more than 37 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, the highest of any plant in the world. Australia produces more carbon dioxide per capita through electricity generation than any other nation. But the US power sector still produces the most carbon dioxide in terms of sheer volume.

These are just a few of the facts and figures available on a new database containing emissions and energy data from more than 4,000 power companies and 50,000 power plants around the globe. The Carbon Monitoring for Action website was set to be launched this week by the Center for Global Development, an independent think-tank in Washington DC. (See a larger image.)

With some 8,000 power plants emitting 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, the United States accounts for a quarter of global emissions, according to the site. China comes a close second at 2.4 billion tonnes, although its per-capita emissions are less than a quarter of those of the United States. Russia comes a distant third, with 600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

The centre describes the database as a public tool that can be used to shed light on the power sector, and hopes it will “speed the shift to less carbon-intensive power generation”. 

Corrected:

South Korea was mislabelled in the print version of this story. This has been corrected online.
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