World carbon dioxide emissions by region 2008-2018

The largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter in the world is Asia Pacific, where there was 16.27 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted in 2018. China, alone, produced about 27 percent of the global territorial fossil fuel CO2 emissions. It is likely that top emitting countries will continue releasing more carbon dioxide every year. Yet, the level of emissions in high income countries have stabilized in comparison to the large emissions growth in low- and middle-income regions. However, based on per capita emissions, countries like the United States, Australia, and Canada are the largest CO2 emitters in the world.

Carbon dioxide emissions

Historically, global carbon dioxide emissions have risen exponentially since the pre-Industrial Revolution period. Carbon dioxide emissions are largely released through the combustion of fossil fuels have increased over the last decades. Under current energy trends, emissions are spread fairly evenly across oil, coal, and natural gas sources. This disruption of the global carbon cycle has a range of ecological, physical, and health impacts such as altered crop growth, extreme weather patterns, and sea-level rise.

World carbon dioxide emissions from 2008 to 2018, by region (in million metric tons of carbon dioxide)*

AfricaSouth and Central AmericaMiddle EastEuropeNorth AmericaAsia PacificCommonwealth of Independent States
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Release date

June 2019



Survey time period

2008 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* The carbon emissions in this statistic reflect only those emissions produced through consumption of oil, gas and coal, and are based on standard global average conversion factors. This does not allow for any carbon that is sequestered, for other sources of carbon emissions, or for emissions of other greenhouse gases. According to the source, these data are not comparable to official national emissions data because they are compiled on the basis of carbon content: oil - 73,300 kg CO2 per TJ (3.07 tonnes per tonne of oil equivalent); natural gas - 56,100 kg CO2 per TJ (2.35 tonnes per tonne of oil equivalent); coal - 94,600 kg CO2 per TJ (3.96 tonnes per tonne of oil equivalent).

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