Largest global emitters of carbon dioxide by country 2018

The statistic reflects the largest producers of territorial fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, based on their share of global energy-related CO2 emissions. China was the largest emitter of carbon dioxide; the country accounted for around 27.5 percent of global CO2 emissions that year.

Carbon dioxide emissions by country

Whether global warming is a man-made phenomenon or a natural cycle of temperature fluctuation may be a debate that is impossible to prove. However, there is one fact that can be taken for granted which has been linked greatly to anomalies in surface temperature: In recent years, there has been a tremendous surge in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere. These atmospheric carbon dioxide rises are believed to be the result of the earth’s industrialization, which began in the second half of the 18th century and is still ongoing in the many emerging markets around the globe. In a pre-industrialized society, the causes of carbon dioxide emissions consisted of non-energy related sources like rocks, animals (including humans) and geological hot spots such as volcanoes and geysers. In 1758, one of the first years where data was available, some 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide was produced worldwide. Several decades later, the level of CO2 was around 1,000 times higher than in that year. In 2018, some 36.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide was emitted globally.

In 2017, the largest per capita CO2 producers included the United States and Middle East countries like, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. In terms of overall emissions, the United States, India and China were all ranked among the five largest emitters, with China taking the top spot. The United States was ranked both as one of the largest emitters in the world as well as one of the largest emitters per capita.

All things equal, it is projected that worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will increase to 43 billion metric tons in 2050. Today, there are a number of measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. These measures include reforestation, the introduction of a price for carbon, a reduction of livestock and a decreased use of fossil fuels in energy generation. In order to reduce CO2 emissions, many countries are shifting towards renewable energy over traditional sources.

Largest producers of territorial fossil fuel CO2 emissions worldwide in 2018, based on their share of global CO2 emissions

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Supplementary notes

* Based on total emissions of 36,573 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

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Statistics on "Global greenhouse gas emissions"

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