The world in numbers - Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Carbon dioxide emissions are a hot topic of late. Did you know that

  • China is the top producer of CO2 emissions in the world; China emits more than twice the CO22 than the next highest emitter, USA

  • USA in turn, emits about twice the CO2 as the next highests emitter, India, followed by the Russian Federation

But the absolute CO2 emissions does not tell the whole story. China has the largest population in the world, followed by India. So it is not such a big suprise that they emit a lot of CO2. CO2 emissions per capita could provide a more objective comparison. With this metric, oil producing countries like Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and UAE top the list; China falls to 27th and the USA falls to 11th place.



There are many underlying factors that influence and drives CO2 emissions in any country. FYT has explored how CO2 emissions vary with the size of the population, economic develop status and GDP per capital. It turns out that

  • CO2 emissions tended to be higher among higher income countries; and the increase appears to follow a consistent relationship with the size of the population

  • CO2 emission per capita appears to grow with GDP per capita; there was little difference between Low, Lower Middle incomes countries. But as countries reach the Upper Middle and Upper Income levels, the rate of CO2 emissions per capital grew at a lower rate. That is, they appear to emit less CO2 per capita at higher GDP per Capia levels, likely due to access to more climate efficient appliances and technology

Clearly there is much more to explore, but you can explore the data for yourself in our interactive data visualization.

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