Climate Change Trends: Carbon Emissions Giants

Right now, 10 countries — including the U.S., China and Russia — are responsible for 80 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. The United States is the world's second largest emitter (China ranks no. 1), sending around 5.8 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere a year. That's the equivalent to a year's worth of greenhouse gas emissions from 1.1 billion average passenger vehicles. Below, a look at today's big CO2 emitters — and projected emissions giants in 2030.

Related: What Countries Are Doing To Tackle Climate Change

Interactive

This graphic requires version 9 or higher of the Adobe Flash Player.Get the latest Flash Player.

This interactive content is not supported by this device.

Interactive map showing 2075 emissions by country, 2030 projected emissions by region, 2007 emissions per capita by country, 2030 projected emissions per capita by region, 2009 population and 2030 projected population. View these maps as a flat image.

Notes

Emissions percent change is calculated by the EIA and based on regional changes between 2008 and 2030.

Countries With Top Coal Reserves

Across the globe, coal reserves are the most carbon-intensive energy resource.

Chart: Countries With Top Coal Reserves

Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations

Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are much higher than they were in the industrial era, and have been increasing steadily over the last half century. The yearly dips represent seasonal changes.

Chart: Concentrations of CO2 In The Atmosphere

CO2 Emissions Compared With GDP

About half the electricity used in the United States comes from burning coal. China depends on coal even more. Burning coal puts out more greenhouse gases than does any other single source of electricity.

Chart: Countries' CO2 Emissions Compared With GDP

More On Climate Change

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.