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Each Country's Share of CO2 Emissions

The world's countries contribute different amounts of heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. The table below shows data compiled by the Energy Information Agency (Department of Energy), which estimates carbon dioxide emissions from all sources of fossil fuel burning and consumption. Here we list the 20 countries with the highest carbon dioxide emissions (data are for 2008). A graph of the top 20 carbon dioxide emitters is also available. 

 

 

Country

Total Emissions
(Million Metric Tons of CO2)

Per Capita Emissions (Tons/Capita)

1.

China

6534

4.91

2.

United States

5833

19.18

3.

Russia

1729

12.29

4.

India

1495

1.31

5.

Japan

1214

9.54

6.

Germany

829

10.06

7.

Canada

574

17.27

8.

United Kingdom

572

9.38

9.

Korea, South

542

11.21

10.

Iran

511

7.76

11.

Saudi Arabia

466

16.56

12.

Italy

455

7.82

13.

South Africa

451

9.25

14.

Mexico

445

4.04

15.

Australia

437

20.82

16.

Indonesia

434

1.83

17.

Brazil

428

2.18

18.

France

415

6.48

19.

Spain

359

8.86

20.

Ukraine

350

7.61

data from EIA 2008

The picture that emerges from these figures is one where—in general—developed countries and major emerging economy nations lead in total carbon dioxide emissions. Developed nations typically have high carbon dioxide emissions per capita, while some developing countries lead in the growth rate of carbon dioxide emissions. Obviously, these uneven contributions to the climate problem are at the core of the challenges the world community faces in finding effective and equitable solutions.

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