The global average coal-burning power plant emits more greenhouse gases than every other major power plant on Earth, according to a new report.
The new study, released Monday, found that China is the country with the most CO2 emissions per capita in the world, followed by Russia, India, and the United States.
It also found that coal plants emit more than half of all greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
The study was based on data collected from more than 4,000 countries and was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Coal-burning plants account for about 1.7 percent of the world energy mix.
They account for roughly one-third of global emissions, the study found.
Coals burn mainly in China, Russia, the United Kingdom, India and Australia, the report said.
Cooperating nations agreed in 2014 to slash their CO2-emissions and other emissions by about 30 percent by 2030 and 40 percent by 2050.
Coal-burning emissions in 2016 surpassed those from gas-burning vehicles, the researchers found.
They also found coal-fired plants are more polluting than other forms of power.
Copper mining is responsible for nearly two-thirds of the CO2 in the atmosphere, the World Health Organization reported in 2016.
It is responsible mostly for acid rain, a warming of the oceans, and climate change.
The WHO says coal plants are responsible for more than a quarter of the annual acid rain in the United Nations’ climate monitoring network, and more than 60 percent of acid rain that occurs on land and in the oceans.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said last year it plans to shut more than 2,500 coal- and gas-fired power plants, which could lead to millions of job losses.
The U.N. Environment Program says it estimates that more than two-fifths of the carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere from coal-power plants is released in the form of air pollution.
The Associated Press