Carbon Footprint by Country 2022

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A carbon footprint is a measure of the total greenhouse gas emissions (primarily carbon dioxide and methane) caused by an individual, community, event, organization, service, product, or nation. A greenhouse gas (GHG) is a gas that absorbs and emits thermal radiation, creating a “greenhouse effect” that traps heat near the Earth’s surface and ultimately warms the planet.

Greenhouse gases are important in maintaining the Earth’s habitable temperature. However, an overabundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can disrupt Earth’s carbon cycle and accelerate global warming. This is the scenario unfolding at present, with the main contributor of greenhouse gases being emissions caused by excessive consumption of fossil fuels. When discussing emissions on a national or global scale, carbon footprint is typically expressed in units of CO2—typically metric tons (1,000 kg/2,205 lb = 1 t), million tons (1,000,000 t = 1 Mt) or gigatons (1 billion metric tons/1,000 Mt = 1 GT).

Reducing the Carbon Footprint

Generally, developed nations have higher carbon footprints and higher CO2 emissions per country. This is largely due to their more robust energy industries, which burn large amounts of fossil fuels to provide electricity, and a larger percentage of residents who own their own automobiles, which contribute greatly to emissions. Industries such as manufacturing and meat production are also noted contributors.

Nations can reduce their carbon footprint in many ways. Methods often employed include generating electricity from renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydroelectric) instead of fossil fuels, improving energy efficiency, promoting biofuels in transportation, reducing CO2 emissions from vehicles, recovering greenhouse gases such as methane from landfills and smokestacks, charging a carbon tax on industries that emit GHGs, and reversing deforestation.

Many countries have pledged to use these and other steps to become carbon neutral, which means they remove as much CO2 as they release. In fact, a few countries have managed to become carbon negative countries that remove even more CO2 from the air than they add to it. Individual citizens can also reduce their carbon footprint by choosing to walk, bike, carpool, or use public transportation instead of driving, using reusable containers or bottles instead of individual plastic ones, reducing overall electricity usage, and eating less red meat.

Carbon Footprint by Country

According to the European Union's Joint Research Centre, total global CO2 emissions increased from 34.1 GT in 2010 to 37.9 GT—an all-time high—in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic and its related restrictions on travel and transportation triggered a decrease to 35.962 GT in 2020, but emissions are expected to resume increasing once 2021 totals become available. China is the largest emitter of CO2 in the world, with 11680 Mt (11.680 GT) of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020. This is just over 32% of the world’s total 2020 emissions. The United States released the second-highest amount of carbon emissions at 4.535 GT, or roughly 12.6% of the total global emissions.

Top 10 CO2-emitting countries in the world (Total CO2 in Mt) - EU JRC 2020

  1. China — 11680.42
  2. United States — 4535.30
  3. India — 2411.73
  4. Russia — 1674.23
  5. Japan — 1061.77
  6. Iran — 690.24
  7. Germany — 636.88
  8. South Korea — 621.47
  9. Saudi Arabia — 588.81
  10. Indonesia — 568.27

Total emissions, however, fall short of telling the full story. For example, sharp-eyed observers may notice that the top three emitters are also three of the most populous countries on Earth, so it stands to reason that their emissions would be higher than that of countries with a fraction as many residents. For a more accurate measure of whether a country's policies are succeeding or failing to reduce CO2 emissions, it is often helpful to examine not only total emissions, but also CO2 emissions per capita.

Top 15 Countries with the Highest CO2 Emissions per Capita (t) - EU JRC 2020

  1. Palau — 55.29
  2. Qatar — 35.64
  3. Trinidad and Tobago — 21.97
  4. Bahrain — 21.60
  5. Kuwait — 20.91
  6. United Arab Emirates — 20.70
  7. Brunei Darussalam — 17.95
  8. Saudi Arabia — 16.96
  9. Oman — 16.9
  10. Australia — 15.22
  11. Canada — 14.43
  12. Kazakhstan — 14.22
  13. United States — 13.68
  14. Turkmenistan — 13.37
  15. Luxembourg — 13.24

By this measure, the U.S. has the thirteenth-highest per capita emissions at 13.68 tons, while Russia is 20th (11.64), Japan is 26th (8.39), China is 28th (8.20), and India is 110th with a mere 1.74 tons per capita. Meanwhile, a number of developing nations occupy the top spots, largely due to less-regulated energy, industry, and transportation industries.

Carbon Footprint by Country 2022

Country 2020 CO2 Emissions (Mt) 2017 CO2 Emissions (Mt) 2020 Emissions Per Capita 2017 Emissions Per Capita 2022 Population
China11680.4210877.228.27.71,448,471,400
United States4535.35107.3913.6815.7334,805,269
India2411.732454.771.741.81,406,631,776
Russia1674.231764.8711.6412.3145,805,947
Japan1061.771320.788.3910.4125,584,838
Iran690.24671.458.268.386,022,837
Germany636.88796.537.729.783,883,596
South Korea621.47673.3212.0713.251,329,899
Saudi Arabia588.81638.7616.9619.435,844,909
Indonesia568.27511.332.091.9279,134,505
Canada542.79617.314.4316.938,388,419
Brazil451.8492.792.112.4215,353,593
South Africa435.13467.657.418.260,756,135
Mexico407.7507.183.053.9131,562,772
Turkey405.2429.564.835.385,561,976
Australia386.44402.2515.2216.526,068,792
Vietnam321.93218.733.272.398,953,541
United Kingdom313.73379.154.665.768,497,907
Vatican City297.35361.185.036.1799
San Marino297.35361.185.036.134,085
Italy297.35361.185.036.160,262,770
Poland292.56319.037.718.437,739,785
Taiwan280.56279.7411.7811.823,888,595
Monaco279.99338.194.265.239,783
France279.99338.194.265.265,584,518
Egypt269.55258.672.622.7106,156,692
Kazakhstan267.1266.2114.2214.619,205,043
Malaysia262.17258.787.988.233,181,072
Thailand255.46279.33.68470,078,203
Pakistan217.02197.31.041229,488,994
Andorra214.85282.364.626.177,463
Spain214.85282.364.626.146,719,142
United Arab Emirates203.14202.820.721.610,081,785
Iraq191.3199.34.615.242,164,965
Ukraine189.3205.724.344.743,192,122
Argentina176.51209.973.884.746,010,234
Algeria163.47159.933.773.945,350,148
Netherlands144.69174.778.4210.317,211,447
Philippines139.16137.151.271.3112,508,994
Nigeria126.9294.850.620.5216,746,934
Bangladesh108.584.550.640.5167,885,689
Qatar99.4997.7935.6437.12,979,915
Czech Republic92.08109.768.6610.310,736,784
Uzbekistan90.3795.352.72334,382,084
Colombia90.2574.951.81.551,512,762
Kuwait89.9797.1520.9123.54,380,326
Venezuela88.95145.882.684.629,266,991
Oman87.0578.4216.916.95,323,993
Chile84.5690.334.58519,250,195
Turkmenistan80.6472.4713.3712.66,201,943
Montenegro77.538.31627,950
Serbia77.5362.498.316.68,653,016
Romania75.881.133.914.119,031,335
Morocco67.7561.581.831.737,772,756
Austria63.6972.257.258.39,066,710
Israel62.4266.927.1688,922,892
Belarus58.9762.346.266.69,432,800
Greece56.1372.155.066.510,316,637
Singapore56.1155.029.459.65,943,546
Libya52.6157.587.997,040,745
Hungary49.4150.865.145.29,606,259
Peru44.4855.931.341.733,684,208
Sweden42.350.874.185.110,218,971
Norway42.1852.497.74105,511,370
Laos41.842.825.840.47,481,023
Finland40.746.857.298.55,554,960
Portugal40.4356.773.965.510,140,570
Mongolia38.2325.7511.918.43,378,078
Bulgaria38.0149.575.4876,844,597
Myanmar37.7128.460.690.555,227,143
Bahrain36.6735.7821.6241,783,983
Liechtenstein35.339.744.074.738,387
Switzerland35.339.744.074.78,773,637
Azerbaijan33.8932.543.363.310,300,205
Ecuador33.2839.511.922.418,113,361
New Zealand33.0336.86.837.84,898,203
Ireland32.6538.916.688.25,020,199
Hong Kong32.4344.724.36.17,604,299
North Korea32.2437.771.251.525,990,679
Slovakia31.8737.865.856.95,460,193
Trinidad And Tobago30.2737.7521.9727.61,406,585
Dominican Republic29.0923.112.622.111,056,370
Tunisia28.5931.632.42.712,046,656
Lebanon26.7723.14.453.86,684,849
Jordan26.4824.572.592.510,300,869
Denmark25.7133.574.435.95,834,950
Syria25.5728.381.351.619,364,809
Sri Lanka23.7323.981.131.121,575,842
Bosnia And Herzegovina23.4325.626.77.33,249,317
Cuba22.9431.2822.711,305,652
Angola22.5130.880.69135,027,343
Bolivia20.6420.461.791.911,992,656
South Sudan19.9521.060.350.411,618,511
Sudan19.9521.060.350.445,992,020
Guatemala19.6217.761.11.118,584,039
Nepal17.898.220.590.330,225,582
Croatia17.717.474.34.24,059,286
Ethiopia17.0114.90.150.1120,812,698
Ghana16.5218.630.540.632,395,450
Kenya16.4118.590.310.456,215,221
Cambodia15.8210.560.950.717,168,639
Estonia14.3717.8911.0513.71,321,910
Slovenia13.7815.216.627.32,078,034
Lithuania13.5515.314.755.32,661,708
Ivory Coast12.112.510.460.527,742,298
Afghanistan11.9511.420.310.340,754,388
Zimbabwe11.5612.090.650.715,331,428
Tanzania11.4714.650.180.363,298,550
Kyrgyzstan11.4611.181.821.86,728,271
Honduras10.6310.561.091.110,221,247
Georgia10.4411.562.6833,968,738
Yemen10.3212.50.340.431,154,867
Senegal10.069.690.580.617,653,671
Mozambique9.947.750.310.333,089,461
Cameroon9.319.770.360.427,911,548
Panama9.312.262.1734,446,964
Moldova8.498.262.1124,013,171
Luxembourg89.5413.2416.4642,371
Brunei7.986.7117.9515.7445,431
Jamaica7.887.552.712.62,985,094
Paraguay7.846.541.1117,305,843
Costa Rica7.828.141.551.75,182,354
North Macedonia7.78.053.693.92,081,304
Zambia7.54.970.40.319,470,234
Latvia7.458.053.934.11,848,837
Benin7.357.10.610.612,784,726
New Caledonia7.325.9125.5221.4290,915
Papua New Guinea7.264.350.830.59,292,169
Botswana7.057.912.923.52,441,162
El Salvador6.797.861.051.26,550,389
Cyprus6.277.045.1961,223,387
Republic of the Congo6.185.511.0915,797,805
Gabon5.956.562.763.22,331,533
Uruguay5.886.931.6823,496,016
Armenia5.824.831.981.62,971,966
Uganda5.355.040.110.148,432,863
Albania5.15.031.731.72,866,374
Nicaragua5.15.920.7916,779,100
Equatorial Guinea4.282.473.041.91,496,662
Madagascar4.254.160.150.229,178,077
Namibia4.014.31.491.72,633,874
Puerto Rico3.962.161.090.62,829,812
Mauritius3.633.992.853.21,274,727
Mali3.480.950.170.121,473,764
Burkina Faso3.253.40.160.222,102,838
DR Congo3.233.50.04095,240,792
Iceland3.174.19.2312.2345,393
Haiti3.013.520.260.311,680,283
Togo2.842.840.340.48,680,837
Guinea2.772.730.20.213,865,691
Curacao2.767.5216.8746.8165,529
Mauritania2.672.960.560.74,901,981
Reunion2.412.922.693.3908,061
Fiji2.381.442.571.6909,466
Macau2.191.283.362.1667,490
Niger2.162.50.090.126,083,660
Bahamas1.8934.647.6400,516
Martinique1.772.374.66.2374,087
Maldives1.670.963.632.2540,985
Suriname1.642.212.843.9596,831
Guadeloupe1.592.263.545399,794
Malta1.551.883.584.4444,033
Guyana1.521.771.922.3794,045
Bhutan1.461.451.751.8787,941
Eswatini1.461.251.020.91,184,817
Malawi1.381.570.070.120,180,839
Liberia1.261.130.250.25,305,117
Palau1.241.4155.2964.918,233
Seychelles1.180.9712.2510.299,426
Barbados1.143.173.9511.1288,023
Sierra Leone1.011.310.130.28,306,436
Rwanda1.011.110.080.113,600,464
French Polynesia0.940.643.232.2284,164
Djibouti0.851.010.851.11,016,097
Chad0.820.930.050.117,413,580
Cape Verde0.80.961.421.7567,678
Somalia0.770.930.050.116,841,795
Aruba0.740.966.949.1107,609
Eritrea0.730.740.130.13,662,244
Gibraltar0.720.6320.5518.133,704
Lesotho0.650.750.280.32,175,699
Gambia0.520.550.230.32,558,482
Bermuda0.50.438.18761,939
Greenland0.470.528.349.256,973
Antigua And Barbuda0.460.624.356.199,509
French Guiana0.460.721.52.5314,169
Cayman Islands0.420.496.61867,277
Belize0.40.441.011.2412,190
Samoa0.360.151.780.7202,239
Central African Republic0.350.490.070.15,016,678
Solomon Islands0.310.150.470.2721,159
Saint Lucia0.290.361.62185,113
Guinea Bissau0.290.410.140.22,063,367
Burundi0.290.290.02012,624,840
Comoros0.250.210.290.3907,419
Turks And Caicos Islands0.190.175.164.739,741
Western Sahara0.190.280.320.5626,161
Grenada0.180.281.692.6113,475
Vanuatu0.170.090.590.3321,832
Dominica0.150.122.031.772,344
British Virgin Islands0.140.154.354.830,596
Saint Kitts And Nevis0.140.242.444.353,871
Tonga0.120.141.111.3107,749
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines0.120.181.051.6111,551
Cook Islands0.060.053.162.717,571
Kiribati0.060.030.520.3123,419
Saint Pierre And Miquelon0.050.087.311.95,759
Falkland Islands0.030.0410.0913.13,539
Anguilla0.020.031.561.915,230
Faroe Islands000.0423.149,233

Carbon Footprint by Country 2022

Sources