Europe v America on climate change in two graphs

Europe v America on climate change in two graphs

Despite the historic intransigence of the US to tackling climate change - ie the refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol - and Europe's supposed forward-thinking on the issue, the US (and even China) is now making the running in global climate-change negotiations.

US greenhouse-gas emissions have dropped to their lowest level for 20 years and president Barack Obama has channelled $90bn into renewable-energy investment.

Indecision and a lack of political leadership from the likes of David Cameron and Angela Merkel mean Europe is now lagging behind...


This graph shows that Europe's consumption of highly-polluting coal has increased from 2010, despite a pledge to reduce emissions.


The US, on the other hand, has actually reduced its coal consumption by roughly 20 percentage points since 2007.

Editor's note: These graphs should not be used for direct comparison of volume consumed - owing to recording by differing agencies on either side of the Atlantic, the graphs use differing axes. However, they do offer an interesting insight into the overall trends of coal consumption in recent years.

For a full look at Europe's waning dedication to climate change action and Barack Obama's environmental legacy, read Joss Garman's full report in the Independenthere.

Joss Garman is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

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