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Global distribution of Greenhouse gas emissions 2016, by sub sector

For the past decade, the world has been producing roughly 50 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year. Energy use for electricity, heat, and transport is by far the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, producing approximately three quarters of the global total.

Energy use emissions

Of the emissions produced from energy use, 24 percent is from energy use in industry, 17.5 percent from energy use in buildings, and 16 percent from transport. Road transport produces approximately 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions each year, with aviation making up around two percent. Globally, per capita greenhouse gas emissions are highest in the United States at roughly 5.4 metric tons of CO2 a year.

Environmental impact of food

The agriculture sector is also a major cause of greenhouse gases, accounting for almost one-fifth of total global emissions. Livestock and manure is the biggest emitter in the agriculture sector. Raising animals for food or other products produces high levels of methane, with emissions from cattle particularly burdensome. An average of 60 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent is produced per kilogram of beef.

Distribution of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide in 2016, by sub sector

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Release date

September 2020



Survey time period


Special properties

Based on total emissions of 49.4 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent

Supplementary notes

*Other industry includes energy-related emissions from manufacturing in other industries including mining and quarrying, construction, textiles, wood products, and transport equipment.

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Statistics on "Greenhouse gas emissions worldwide"

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