Average Briton uses a Kenyan’s annual carbon emissions by 13 January

By Jonathan Bartley
January 12, 2012

An interesting but powerful fact from the World Development Movement: By the end of tomorrow (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.

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. (Per capita carbon dioxide emissions figures from the US Energy Information Administration )

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 Briton 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.

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.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.