Charts: comparing the largest carbon emitters

/ Mongabay.com

Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration announced an 8 percent drop in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions during the first quarter of 2012. Emissions between January and March 2012 were the lowest since 1992.

Carbon emissions from the world's largest emitters
Comparison of carbon emissions from six leading countries. Click image to enlarge.

Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration announced an 8 percent drop in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions during the first quarter of 2012. Emissions between January and March 2012 were the lowest since 1992.

The drop in emissions was mostly attributed to a mild winter and utilities’ continuing shift away from coal-burning due to low natural gas prices, but the quarterly results are consistent with an ongoing trend in the United States: falling carbon dioxide emissions. Since peaking at 1,642 tons of carbon (6,022 tons of carbon dioxide) emissions in 2007, have fallen 9 percent.

But reductions in the United States have been more than offset by carbon emissions growth in developing countries, especially China, where emissions from fossil fuels have grown from 929 metric tons of carbon in 2000 to 2,248 in 2010. Other countries are outpacing even China, however. Vietnam, Oman, and Nigeria all experienced faster growth in greenhouse gas emissions since 1995. Since 2000, only Angola and Vietnam have surpassed China in emissions growth among countries with more than 10 million metric tons in annual emissions.

Chart: Largest increase in carbon emissions
Largest increase in carbon emissions. Click image to enlarge.

Chart: Largest percentage increase in carbon emissions
Largest percentage increase in carbon emissions. Click image to enlarge.

Chart: Largest decrease in carbon emissions
Largest decrease in carbon emissions. Click image to enlarge.

Chart: Largest percentage decrease in carbon emissions
Largest percentage decrease in carbon emissions. Click image to enlarge.

On a per capita basis, China’s emissions are also growing rapidly. According to figures released last month, per capita emissions in China reached 1.96 metric tons of carbon (7.2 tons of CO2-equivalent) in 2011, approaching European levels of 2.05 tons per head. On that front however, China is still well behind per capita emissions of the United States and several small island and oil-rich states.

Chart: Per capita carbon emissions
Per capita carbon emissions. Click image to enlarge.

Chart: Largest rise in per capita carbon emissions
Largest rise in per capita carbon emissions.

Chart: Largest decline in per capita carbon emissions
Largest decline in per capita carbon emissions.

China’s emissions are rising due to rapid economic growth resulting from urbanization and modernization as well as outsourcing of manufacturing by industrialized nations. Countries like the United States have effectively transferred a portion of their emissions to China.

Data Table [Selected countries – SOURCE: CDIAC]

COUNTRY 1990 1995 2000 2005 2008 2010
Algeria 21.5 25.8 24.0 29.2 30.4 32.6
Angola 1.2 3.0 2.6 5.2 6.6
Argentina 30.7 33.4 38.5 43.3 52.5 51.8
Australia 78.4 83.8 89.9 100.2 108.9 99.7
Austria 16.6 16.5 16.9 20.3 18.5 17.3
Azerbaijan 9.2 8.3 9.4 12.9 11.0
Bahrain 3.2 4.4 5.1 5.1 6.1
Bangladesh 4.2 6.2 7.6 10.3 12.7 13.7
Belarus 16.9 14.6 16.1 17.1 16.0
Belgium & Luxembourg 32.3 33.1 33.8 32.3 28.6 30.6
Bosnia & Herzegovina 1.0 6.3 7.0 8.5
Brazil 57.0 75.1 90.0 95.4 107.2 114.4
Bulgaria 21.2 16.3 11.9 13.1 13.8 11.3
Canada 122.7 125.4 146.6 153.5 148.4 141.4
Chile 9.5 11.9 16.4 17.4 19.9 18.7
China 671.1 905.5 928.6 1579.0 1917.6 2247.5
Colombia 15.6 16.3 15.8 16.1 18.5 20.6
Croatia 4.8 5.4 6.3 6.4
Cuba 9.1 7.0 7.1 6.7 8.6
Czech Republic 35.3 34.0 32.9 31.9 29.9
Denmark 13.8 15.1 12.9 12.8 12.6 11.9
Dominican Republic 2.6 4.4 5.5 5.4 5.9
Ecuador 4.6 6.2 5.7 8.0 7.3 8.0
Egypt 20.7 26.1 38.5 47.6 57.4 63.6
Finland 13.9 14.3 14.2 14.9 15.4 17.3
France 108.8 107.3 99.7 106.9 102.8 98.9
Germany 276.4 245.8 226.9 220.8 214.5 208.0
Greece 19.8 21.6 25.0 26.9 26.7 24.9
Hong Kong 7.5 8.6 11.1 11.1 10.5 10.6
Hungary 17.2 16.4 15.6 15.8 14.9 13.6
India 188.3 250.9 323.6 384.8 475.2 564.5
Indonesia 40.8 61.3 70.4 91.7 110.7 130.0
Iran 62.0 77.7 92.5 125.1 146.8 156.7
Iraq 14.3 21.2 19.8 26.6 28.1
Ireland 8.3 9.0 11.2 11.8 11.9 11.1
Israel 9.1 14.8 17.1 16.1 18.4 18.0
Italy 115.7 119.3 121.7 128.6 121.4 111.3
Japan 298.5 322.9 332.6 337.7 329.5 310.5
Jordan 2.8 3.7 4.2 5.7 5.8
Kazakhstan 45.5 34.8 48.3 64.6 65.5
Kuwait 12.4 13.7 16.1 21.1 20.9 22.9
Libya 11.0 12.5 13.6 14.2 15.9
Malaysia 15.4 33.0 34.5 50.0 56.8 54.4
Mexico 88.8 94.1 104.5 118.0 129.8 127.1
Morocco 6.4 8.3 9.2 11.7 13.1
Netherlands 44.8 48.1 45.1 47.0 47.4 49.3
New Zealand 6.6 7.3 8.9 9.1 9.0 8.0
Nigeria 12.4 9.5 21.6 28.4 26.1
North Korea 66.8 70.7 21.0 22.8 21.4
Norway 8.5 9.0 10.6 11.6 13.6 13.8
Oman 2.8 4.3 6.0 9.5 12.5
Pakistan 18.7 23.0 29.0 37.3 44.5 45.6
Peru 5.8 6.5 8.3 10.2 11.1 12.5
Philippines 12.1 17.2 21.6 22.1 22.7 24.5
Poland 100.0 94.6 82.3 82.8 86.2 84.5
Portugal 11.9 14.3 17.2 17.8 15.4 15.1
Qatar 3.2 8.4 9.5 14.2 18.7 20.4
Romania 43.3 35.0 24.5 25.9 25.8 21.4
Russian Federation 461.5 423.6 440.6 466.0 460.6
Saudi Arabia 58.6 64.0 81.2 100.1 118.2 134.7
Serbia 11.1 11.2 12.7 13.6
Singapore 12.8 12.8 13.0 13.7 8.8 9.8
Slovakia 11.9 10.0 10.7 10.2 8.6
South Africa 91.0 96.4 100.5 111.3 118.9 123.2
South Korea 67.6 101.9 117.9 126.9 138.9 153.6
Spain 62.1 70.1 80.3 96.4 89.8 74.9
Sweden 14.1 14.6 13.6 14.1 13.4 13.1
Switzerland 11.7 10.7 10.7 11.3 11.0 10.6
Syria 10.2 14.1 17.3 17.6 19.5
Taiwan 34.3 48.6 59.4 71.6 70.5 72.2
Thailand 26.1 49.5 55.0 75.0 77.9 81.6
Trinidad and Tobago 4.6 5.7 6.7 8.4 13.6 13.6
Tunisia 3.6 4.3 5.4 6.2 6.8
Turkey 41.1 48.2 58.9 64.7 77.4 80.6
Turkmenistan 9.4 9.7 11.4 13.0 14.2
Ukraine 121.6 87.5 92.5 88.2 76.3
United Arab Emirates 14.2 19.3 30.7 31.5 42.3 43.9
United Kingdom 155.5 153.9 148.3 147.9 142.6 134.5
Usa 1330.6 1428.4 1558.1 1588.9 1546.9 1497.9
Uzbekistan 27.5 32.7 29.9 34.1 32.3
Venezuela 33.3 36.3 41.6 43.5 46.2 47.7
Viet Nam 5.8 8.0 14.6 28.4 34.7 43.7
Yemen 3.1 4.0 5.5 6.4

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