The topic of pollution and CO2 emissions is increasingly discussed globally. But despite the growing debate CO2 emissions don’t seem to be decreasing, quite the contrary. In today’s article we are going to analyze which nations emit the most CO2. To do this we will use data from the world bank. Data that shows the total consumption of CO2 in kilotons. (One kiloton is equivalent to the energy released by the explosion of a quantity of one thousand tons of TNT).
The evolution of the 15 countries in the world with the highest CO2 emissions
Let’s start by trying to answer with a first question. What is the nation that emits the most CO2? In 2016 – the latest data available – the first nation in the world for CO2 emissions was China. In fact, the Asian country had a value of almost 10 million CO2 emitted (always in kt). A value almost double that of the United States. The U.S. in fact in 2016 had a figure of over 5 million. In third place we find India with 2 million 400 thousand, half of the United States. Nations with more than 1 million CO2 emissions in kt also include Russia and Japan. Among the top 15 nations in the world in 2016, as many as 6 are part of Asia. 4 are part of the Americas and 3 are part of Europe (as a Continent). Only 1 nation was found to be part of Africa: South Africa.
And in 1960, what was the situation? In first place was the United States. CO2 emissions were almost 3 million, or 2,890,696. In second place was the USSR with 1,448,000 and in third place China with 780,000. In the first 15 positions, in 1960, there are countries that we find again in 2016. Above all Japan, the UK, India and South Africa. But there are also countries such as Italy, Brazil, Australia and Mexico which, over time, have increased their emissions but have been surpassed by other countries. In general, in 1960, the distribution of countries by Contient was different. Asian countries in the “Top 15” were only 3, China, Japan and India. There were 7 European countries, almost half, and Ocenania was also present with Australia.
Global CO2 emissions: how much have they grown?
Globally, CO2 emissions have increased nearly 400% in just 50 years. In fact, the figure has risen from around 9 million in 1960/1961 to 35 million in 2014. A growth that goes from year to year. Only in some very short periods have there been slowdowns. In 1974 for example or in the early 80s. From 2000 onward, growth has been even stronger. From almost 24 million emissions in 2000 we have arrived at 24 million in 2014. The figures for the last few years are fortunately quite stable. The trend even seems to be slightly downward. Although this is a positive, overall CO2 emissions are still too high.
The comparison between USA, China, Russia/USSR and India
We saw in the video above how to date China, USA, Russia and India are the top nations in the world for number of CO2 emissions. But how have the balances between these 4 changed over time? To better understand this evolution of the global industry I made this pie chart.
The graph shows how these 4 nations compare over the decades. I have also added 2016 to this data as the latest available data. While, for example, in 1960 the United States had over half of the pie and India a small slice, over time this graph has changed completely. As the decades have passed China has acquired increased more and more its level of emissions arriving in 2016 to be more than half among these 4 nations. At the same time the US especially from 2010 onwards has declined and India has gone from being a small portion of the pie to a larger slice. In the 4-way split, the USSR, which in the meantime has become Russia, has decreased its C02 emissions in percentage terms among these 4 nations.
The list of all countries from 1960 to 2016
Below is the list of nations by C02 emissions every 10 years. The data refer to the years 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2016. In the first column you can see the name of the nation, in the second column the change from 1960 to 2016 and in the following columns the values each decade. The columns with the values by decade can be put in ascending or descending order.
CO2 emissions per capita in metric tons – U.S. 2017
We’ve seen how the United States has consistently been one of the top countries in the world for annual C02 emissions. But what are the states with the most emissions? In this case I will use data in millions of tons. In order to have a comparison between all countries I decided to use several parameters: CO2 emissions per capita, percentage of total emissions and annual C02 emissions.
The top state in the U.S. for C02 emissions per capita is Wyoming. In fact this state has a value of over 100 tons per person. North Dakota comes second with 74.26 and West Virginia third with 49.93.
And at the total level, which are the nations with more C02 emissions? In this case the countries with the most inhabitants have, as you can easily predict, a very high value. Texas is the first state in the U.S. with 706.5 In this case the figure refers to millions of metric tons. In second place we find California with 358.6 (almost half of Texas). In third place is Florida with 226.6.
Finally, in this last map, I wanted to show the data on the total percentage of emissions. Following what we saw in the previous map, the top three states are Texas, California, and Florida. But how much are the total C02 emissions compared to the United States? For example, Texas has 13.7% of the total. This is followed by California with 7% and Florida with 24.4%. These three states, when added together, have a nearly 25% share of all U.S. emissions.
Source and link
I used the data in the World Bank to create this article. Important data. The unit of measurement is the kt (kiloton). Carbon dioxide emissions are often calculated and reported as elemental carbon. They were converted to actual mass of carbon dioxide by multiplying them by 3.667 (the ratio of the mass of carbon to the mass of carbon dioxide).
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