Carbon emissions

Wealthy Nations Lead Per-Capita Emissions

While countries in the European Union have been leaders in the movement toward renewable and clean energies, many have some of the highest per-capita carbon emission rates in the world. Easy access to carbon-emitting products like cars and the use of plastics is what also makes Canada and the U.S. some of the top-polluting countries by household, along with Saudi Arabia. New data shows how China's quick modernization has led them to join the list of some of the highest-polluting citizens.

Data collected from the World Bank and published by Bloomberg shows China has cracked the top 15 in terms of per-capita carbon emissions in the world with roughly 6.4 metric tons per citizen. Most other countries ahead of China are wealthier European and Asian countries, with France, Poland and the U.K. all averaging around 7-8 metric tons of carbon per citizen. Still, the global leaders include both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia tied for first at 17.6 metric tons per capita.


This chart shows the countries with the highest per-capita carbon emissions, in metric tons of carbon dioxide.

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Carbon dioxide emissions in Italy 1970-2020
Global carbon dioxide emissions 1965-2020, by region
Carbon dioxide emissions per person in the U.S. 2020-2050
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions 1975-2020
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Energy related carbon emissions in China 2018-2050
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Carbon dioxide emissions in Russia 1985-2020

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