These countries create most of the world’s CO2 emissions

_emissions 2019_

(Koushik Das, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Sean Fleming, Senior Writer, Formative Content


Just two countries, China and the US, are responsible for more than 40% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

With CO2 levels still on the rise, being able to track the global emissions hotspots is becoming more important than ever. Before the industrial revolution, levels of atmospheric CO2 were around 280 parts per million (ppm). By 2013, that level had breached the 400ppm mark for the first time.

On 3 June 2019 it stood at 414.40ppm.

Fifteen countries are responsible for more than two thirds of global CO2 emissions.
Image: Visual Capitalist

There are huge disparities between the world’s top 15 CO2 emissions-generating countries. China creates almost double the emissions of second-placed US, which is in turn responsible for more than twice the level of third-placed India.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about the transition to clean energy?

Moving to clean energy is key to combatting climate change, yet in the past five years, the energy transition has stagnated. Energy consumption and production contribute to two-thirds of global emissions, and 81% of the global energy system is still based on fossil fuels, the same percentage as 30 years ago.

Effective policies, private-sector action and public-private cooperation are needed to create a more inclusive, sustainable, affordable and secure global energy system.

Benchmarking progress is essential to a successful transition. The World Economic Forum’s Energy Transition Index, which ranks 115 economies on how well they balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability, shows that the biggest challenge facing energy transition is the lack of readiness among the world’s largest emitters, including US, China, India and Russia. The 10 countries that score the highest in terms of readiness account for only 2.6% of global annual emissions.

To future-proof the global energy system, the Forum’s Shaping the Future of Energy initiative is working with projects including the Partnering for Sustainable Energy Innovation, the Future of Electricity, the Global Battery Alliance and Scaling Renewable Energy to encourage and enable innovative energy investments, technologies and solutions.

Is your organisation interested in working with the World Economic Forum? Find out more here.

Collectively, the top 15 generate 72% of CO2 emissions. The rest of the world’s 180 countries produce nearly 28% of the global total – close to the amount China produces on its own.

Of course, aggregating emissions by country is just one way of assessing the problem and working out how to counter it. The per capita figures tell a different story.

Per capita CO2 emissions: the top 4.
Image: Visual Capitalist

Here, China doesn’t even make the top 20. The per capita No 1 spot goes to Qatar, with Gulf States making up 3 of the top 4. The US is ranked 8th, behind Australia at 7th.

Looking at per capita figures rather than national-level totals could help bring the reality of the climate crisis closer to individuals. For example, a person may feel their decision to use less-polluting forms of transport is pointless in comparison to the colossal Chinese and American CO2 figures.

But seeing how population size alters the rankings, and where their country appears, may encourage people to see a connection between their actions and the results they can help bring about.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Nagasaki is ‘a global inspiration’ for peace, UN chief says marking 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing

Malaysia can show the way towards a holistic model for human rights

Rohingya cannot become ‘forgotten victims,’ says UN chief urging world to step up support

6 facts to know about EU alternative investment funds

What washing your hands can teach you about global change

Here’s why the tech sector could be the next target for Chinese investment in Africa

New UN rights report paints bleak picture in eastern DR Congo

The unpleasant truth of plastic straws

Guterres hails historic Convention banning violence and harassment at work

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: funding for Palestine refugees, families today, tech surveillance

This man is sleeping out in the Davos cold to make a point about homelessness

Future-proofing the European banking market – removing the obstacles to exit

This graphene battery can recharge itself to provide unlimited clean energy

Avocado: the ‘green gold’ causing environment havoc

Around 23 million boys have married before reaching 15; ‘we can end this violation’ says UNICEF chief

How smarter machines can make us smarter humans

EU budget: Regional Development and Cohesion Policy beyond 2020

This NATO experiment used fake Facebook accounts to trick soldiers into sharing sensitive information

The remote doctor, can it ever work?

UN agency warns conditions around Yemen’s key port city of Hudaydah still ‘very bad’, as staff rush to deliver aid

Mediterranean and Black Seas: Commission proposes fishing opportunities for 2020

UN and Red Cross chiefs appeal for end to use of explosive weapons in cities

The Junior Enterprise concept: Business & Education

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

Commission: Raising the social issues that can make or break the monetary union

Impact investment favours expats over African entrepreneurs. Here’s how to fix that

5G networks: to slice or not to slice?

Who should pay for workers to be reskilled?

‘Antagonistic gestures and accusations’ drown out Kosovo dialogue hopes, Security Council hears

Aid stepped up to Syria camp; new arrivals say terrorists blocked their escape

From UN Assembly podium, Central African Republic leader appeals for lifting arms embargo

More women and girls needed in the sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

A ship with containers at the port of Rotterdam. (Copyright: European Union. Source: EC - Audiovisual Service. Photo: Robert Meerding)

US follows the EU in impeding China market economy status in WTO

Poland: €676 million worth of EU investments in better rails and roads

Blockchain is becoming key for global trade – but is that a gift for hackers?

UN chief pays tribute to ‘enduring contributions’ to regional, international diplomacy of Oman’s late Sultan Qaboos

It’s getting harder to move data abroad. Here’s why it matters and what we can do

European Court rules that ECB’s OMT program of 2012 is OK; not a word from Germany about returning the Greek 2010 courtesy

UN ‘stands in solidarity’ with cyclone-hit India – Secretary-General Guterres

As fighting in Libya escalates, so does number of children ‘at imminent risk of injury or death’

Somalis ‘will not be deterred’ by Friday’s terror attacks – UN chief

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

The experience economy is booming, but it must benefit everyone

EU Summit consumed by the banks

Yemen: Recent uptick in fighting contradicts desire for peace

100 years after Polish independence, 5 reasons to be cheerful for the future

GSMA head urges regulators to help Europe regain leadership

Taxes on polluting fuels are too low to encourage a shift to low-carbon alternatives

Mergers: Commission approves Assa Abloy’s acquisition of Agta Record, subject to conditions

EU humanitarian budget for 2020 to help people in over 80 countries

Meet the robot fighting back against coral reef destruction

From philanthropy to profit: how clean energy is kickstarting sustainable development in East Africa

EU unfolds strategy on the Egypt question

Chart of the day: These countries have the highest share of electric vehicles

These are the world’s healthiest nations

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Why the answer to a more sustainable future could lie within the platform economy

Youth Entrepreneurship Issue of the month: JEN, organisers of JADE October Meeting, on why JEs should come together

‘No-deal’ Brexit preparedness: European Commission takes stock of preparations and provides practical guidance to ensure coordinated EU approach

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s