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World carbon dioxide output: this map shows the relative size of nations according to how much CO2 they emit. North America accounts for 28 per cent. It illustrates total, rather than per capita, emissions. If a per capita scale were used, Australia would be much larger—and Africa barely visible at all.

In terms of their sheer scale and complexity, people often compare the climate change negotiations to the WTO talks. But subsidies and tariffs will always be under human control; climate change will not. Scientists have agreed that a 2°C average rise in temperature from preindustrial levels is what…

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