Big countries with large populations – above all China, the U.S. and India, emit the most CO2 in total, but countries on the Arabian Peninsular are ahead of almost anybody else when it comes to emitting the most CO2 per capita.
According to data published by the Global Carbon project, Qataris – even though they are few in numbers – were the worst per-capita polluters, followed by the inhabitants of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Australians, U.S. Americans and Canadians follow suit.
While on the Gulf, the cheap availability of oil might up per-capita CO2 pollution numbers, in the case of developed Western nations, it is the reliance on a cars as a means transportation and the burning of coal for electricity that drive up emission numbers.
The chart lists major countries with 2 million inhabitants or more. Omitted are many small island nations like Trinidad and Tobago or Curacao, where per-capita emissions are also quite high – often a result of tourism and/or the necessity to fly to leave the island.
The emittance of CO2 into the air is one of the main causes of global warming. The concentration of CO2 in the global atmosphere remained relatively stable until the industrial revolution at around 200 particles per million. From the 19th century onwards, its density multiplied rapidly, reaching 413 particles per million most recently.