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CO₂ per Capita 2022 (t)

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Country 2024

A greenhouse gas (GHG) is a gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are so named because they function similarly to the glass in a greenhouse. They pose no hindrance to sunlight which passes straight through and generates heat when it reaches the ground. However, when that heat attempts to rise and dissipate, it cannot penetrate the gases/glass and instead builds up, raising the ambient temperature. This phenomenon is known as the greenhouse effect.

Greenhouse gases are essential to keeping the Earth warm; without them, the global temperature would average about 0°F. However, human activity—particularly certain agricultural practices and the burning of fossil fuels—has created an overabundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is widely understood to be the primary cause of unnatural global warming. The world’s countries produce and release varying amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The overall emissions level in a country can be explained by the size of its population, its GDP, its energy sector, and more.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Greenhouse Gas Emissions (in million metric tons, 2022 data):*

Country
CO₂ per Capita 2022
Australia14.5
United States13.6
Canada13.1
South Korea10.6
Luxembourg10.3
Czech Republic8.6
Japan7.9
Poland7.6
Germany7.2
Belgium6.8

According to the International Energy Agency, global carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion reached a new record of 36.3 billion tons (36.3 Gt) in 2021. Overall, greenhouse gas emissions fell 9% from 2019 to 2020, largely as a result of COVID-19-related lockdowns which limited the use of motor vehicles (and in effect greatly reduced the emission of GHGs in vehicle exhaust). However, early data indicate that GHG emissions not only rose in 2021, but reached the highest global level yet recorded. Both coal and renewable power (wind, hydro, solar, etc.) rose to their highest recorded levels of consumption in 2021.

Top greenhouse gases and their sources

Gas% of emissions in U.S. 2022 (EPA)
Carbon Dioxide (CO₂)79.7%
Methane (CH₄)11.1%
Nitrous Oxide (N₂O)6.1%
Fluorinated Gases3.1%

The primary greenhouse gases generated by humans are carbon dioxide (CO₂), methane (CH₄), nitrous oxide (N₂O), and the "fluorinated gases" such as hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride. Water vapor and ozone (O₃) could also be classified as greenhouse gases, but both offer substantial benefits that far outweigh their influence upon global warming.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the economic sectors that produced the largest amounts of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 were electricity and heat production (34%), agriculture, forestry, and other land use (22%), industry (24%), transportation (15%), and buildings (6%).

Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States in 2022 (EPA):

Energy Sector% of GHGs contributed
Transportation (gasoline, diesel, etc)28%
Electricity generation (coal, natural gas)25%
Industry (manufacture of metals, cement, chemicals)23%
Agriculture (livestock, non-organic farming & processing)10%
Commercial & Residential (heating, cooking)13%

Carbon dioxide (CO₂)

Carbon dioxide (CO₂) is the most abundant greenhouse gas, and by a massive margin. CO₂ makes up approximately 4/5 of all human-generated greenhouse gas emissions. It is emitted primarily through the burning of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil) either in motor vehicles as fuel or in power plants to generate electricity. Additional sources include solid waste, biological materials, and certain chemical reactions.

Since 1970, global carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 90%, with emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes contributing to about 78% of the total greenhouse gas emissions increase.

Sources of Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the United States in 2022 (EPA):

Energy Sector% of CO₂ contributed
Transportation (gasoline, diesel, etc)35%
Electricity generation (coal, natural gas)30%
Industry (manufacture of metals, cement, chemicals)16%
Residential and Commercial (heating, cooking)12%
Other7%

Methane (CH₄)

Although it is emitted in much smaller volumes than carbon dioxide, methane has a much greater impact in the atmosphere and is roughly 25 times as damaging as an equal volume of CO₂ over 100 years. Methane is released into the atmosphere by both natural sources (35-50%), such as wetlands, and by human activities (50-65%).

Human-generated sources of methane include natural gas production, coal mining, wastewater treatment, and landfills. Arguably the best-known source of atmospheric methane is the rearing of livestock. The size of the global meat industry is such that the animals' collective flatulence and biological waste releases a considerable amount of methane into the atmosphere.

Sources of Methane Emissions in the United States in 2022 (EPA):

Energy Sector% of CO₂ contributed
Natural Gas and Petroleum Production28%
Enteric Fermentation (animal flatulence)25%
Landfills (decay of organic matter)16%
Manure Management9%
Coal Mining6%
Other16%

Nitrous oxide (N₂O)

With an atmospheric impact 300 times that of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide is a major greenhouse gas. It is primarily released through agricultural soil management practices (75%) such as the application of fertilizer. Chemical production, the combustion of fossil fuels, and the treatment of wastewater also contribute to N₂O emissions. It is also part of the natural nitrogen cycle.

Fluorinated gases

The fluorinated gases, including hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride, are almost entirely man-made gases generated by various chemical and industrial processes. 93% of the fluorinated gases released into the atmosphere come from their use in various industrial roles including that of refrigerants, aerosol propellants, solvents, fire retardants, foam blowing agents, gaseous insulators. Although they appear in only trace amounts in the atmosphere, fluorinated gases are tremendously impactful, with an effect roughly 10,000 to 22,800 times that of an equivalent volume of carbon dioxide.

Greenhouse gas contributions around the world

China

China has the highest greenhouse gas emissions of any country in the world; it released 9,877 megatons (9,877 million tons) of GHGs in 2019. The country’s economic growth has primarily been powered by coal, which produces up to twice the amount of carbon dioxide as other fossil fuels. China’s industrial sector is the primary coal consumer. Manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and construction make up about 62.5% of China’s energy use and 49% of its coal use. What's more, China's coal use rose in 2021, as a 10% spike in demand for electricity (fueled by the post-pandemic economic recovery) coincided with a spike in natural gas prices, leading to an increased reliance on coal-powered electrical plants.

United States

The United States is the second-largest contributor of CO₂ emissions, responsible for 4,745 megatons of GHGs in 2019. U.S. net emissions decreased by 12% between 2005 and 2017, with the electric power sector emissions falling 27% as a result of increased use of renewable energy, shifting from coal to natural gas, and a leveling of electricity demand. The transportation sector was the largest contributor to emissions in 2022, responsible for 35% of emissions, followed by electricity (30%), and industry (16%).

India

India, like China, has a large population—the second-largest in the world at 1.4 billion people—and is the third-largest contributor of carbon dioxide emissions, emitting 2,310 megatons of CO₂ in 2019. Cattle, coal power plants, and rice paddies are the country’s major sources of emissions which continue to rise rapidly. The country has pledged a 33-35% reduction in its emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

Russia and Japan

Russia is the fourth-largest contributor of CO₂ emissions, having emitted 1,640 megatons of carbon dioxide in 2019. Russia’s per capita emissions (10.8 tons in 2020) are among the highest in the world, much higher than that of the U.K. (4.6), France (3.8), or Ukraine (3.7)—though still lower than the United States (13.0). The majority of greenhouse gas emissions in Russia come from the energy industry (78.9%), nearly half of which comes from the production of electricity and heat for the general population.

Japan is the fifth-largest contributor of greenhouse gases and the fifth and final nation that contributes more than a thousand (1,056) megatons per year. Japan is the only G7 country still building new coal-fired power plants. Japan has some unambitious climate change goals and is facing both criticism and pressure from the international community.

Germany and South Korea

Germany is responsible for 644 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted in 2019, a 6.3% reduction in greenhouse gases compared to 2018. Since 1990, Germany has reduced its emissions by 35.7%, primarily by shutting down coal-fired power plants, expanding wind and solar energy, and successfully reforming European emissions trading. Germany’s goal is to cut emissions by 55% by 2030 and to run on 80% renewable energy sources by 2050.

After emitting a record 605.9 megatons of CO₂ in 2018, South Korea lowered its emissions to 586 million tons in 2019. While emissions from electricity, coal, and steel production have increased, South Korea has committed to greening its energy platform by decommissioning old and inefficient coal and nuclear power plants and transitioning to more efficient systems, including a blossoming hydrogen industry.

Iran, Canada, and Saudi Arabia

Iran is the eighth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, emitting 583 million tons of CO₂ in 2019. Between 1990 and 2018, Iran’s CO₂ emissions rose by roughly 5% annually. The burning of natural gas and oil are the two leading contributors to Iran’s carbon emissions. Iran is rich in resources with enormous oil and gas reserves; however, it still has considerable potential to produce renewable energy, such as solar power. Iran has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 4% by 2030, but increased sanctions and a lack of trade have negatively impacted the country’s economy, hindering the use of resources for climate initiatives.

Canada emitted 571 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2019. Canada is warming up twice as quickly as the rest of the world, despite the country's many hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants, which do not require fossil fuels to produce electricity. Oil and gas production is Canada’s largest emitting sector, accounting for about 45% of emissions, followed by transportation, which accounts for about 28% of emissions. Since 1990, Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) has more than tripled and its population has grown by 6 million people, yet overall total greenhouse gas emissions have risen less than 30%, and per-capita emissions have declined.

Saudi Arabia is the tenth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, having emitted 495 million tons of CO₂ in 2019. Saudi Arabia’s economy is highly oil-dependent, and Saudi Aramco, the official Saudi Arabian Oil Company, has contributed the most to global carbon dioxide emissions since the 1960s. However, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns triggered a massive drop in global demand for oil and made clear that Saudi Arabia needs to diversify away from oil for both environmental and economic reasons. Like most Middle Eastern countries, Saudi Arabia has massive potential to generate solar power.

  • Mt = Megatons, equal to a million tons
  • Kt = Kilotons, equal to a thousand tons
  • t = tons

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Country
CO₂ per Capita 2022 (t)
CO₂ Emissions 2022 (Mt)
CO₂ per Capita 2021 (t)
CO₂ Emissions 2021 (Mt)
CO₂ per Capita 2020 (t)
CO₂ Emissions 2020 (Mt)
Total GHG Emissions 2020 (Kt)
CO₂ per Capita 2019 (t)
CO₂ Emissions 2019 (Mt)
Total GHG Emissions 2019 (Kt)
Total GHG Emissions 2018 (Kt)
Australia14.5381.414.000360.90014.4373.2571,90315.1388.4613,605642,276
United States13.64618.813.8004549.30012.943245,505,18114.448216,039,7396,154,646
Canada13.151913.200505.60013.1504.9677,70914.7559.7726,904742,233
South Korea10.6553.210.80010.6551.4659,33011.4592.2699,176714,467
Luxembourg10.36.912.3007.90011.87.68,81414.69.310,49510,312
Czech Republic8.693.98.60092.3008.289.1108,308997.7117,767123,074
Japan7.9998.28.000998.1007.9999.71,094,5568.31057.91,157,5451,198,175
Poland7.6293.87.800290.3007.1279.2338,3847.5294.1355,381372,926
Germany7.2613.37.500624.1007.1602.4692,7517.8655.2751,652802,490
Belgium6.87.50086.4007.283.7100,0637.891.4108,086108,952
Netherlands6.6118.57.700134.4007.4131.3155,9128.4147.5172,217177,771
Norway6.536.26.70036.2006.736.746,117738.147,61048,529
Estonia6.596.2008.3005.37.310,1997.410.113,17518,818
Ireland6.332.96.70033.7006.432.459,4986.934.461,60263,536
Austria6.257.56.80060.5006.45971,0187.164.576,62375,582
Israel6.158.86.10057.0006.358.383,6646.862.387,19185,003
Finland6.135.86.50035.9006.537.647,7407.442.452,76356,200
Slovenia5.712.45.80012.3005.712.315,2876.313.516,53416,969
New Zealand5.528.76.00031.000631.180,1586.633.883,18081,807
Italy5301.75.200309.7004.6279.3352,1295.2315390,001399,052
Greece4.851.54.70049.7004.548.869,2835.357.578,65084,140
Iceland4.81.94.2001.6003.91.52,6534.51.72,8482,919
United Kingdom4.6313.34.800320.8004.5304.9398,3245.1343439,332455,530
Spain4.6222.14.500211.5004.1197.7270,3114.9236.4309,375326,838
Turkey4.4378.84.800400.8004.4369.9504,9564.4370.2491,455503,525
Denmark4.427.14.70027.6004.526.941,1364.929.343,57047,108
Hungary4.342.44.60045.1004.544.859,5974.746.562,09464,260
Chile4.182.94.30085.0004.385.8106,7224.893.1113,466107,365
France4282.44.300291.8003.8266.6376,0064.3300.2412,999422,400
Lithuania3.811.24.10011.500411.619,785411.619,78019,652
Switzerland3.632.74.00034.8003.834.143,9884.236.546,47646,683
Portugal3.436.13.40035.0003.537.455,6414.143.361,57566,613
Sweden3.235.13.30034.4003.134.245,4593.335.546,79247,719
Mexico3.1400.12.900375.5002.8362.4592,3213.4430.8659,740651,037
Latvia3.16.33.5006.6003.46.711,4373.77.412,08612,238
Colombia1.578.51.50077.3001.473.4186,9991.575186,445182,788
Costa Rica1.47.71.4007.5001.36.814,4051.57.715,71915,750
India1.6002279.0001.52134.93,200,8211.62339.53,412,4193,436,072
China7.50010648.5007.110162.412,942,8687.110059.512,732,24512,524,335
Indonesia2.000556.6002545976,4882.1584.61,020,914980,510
Pakistan0.900201.6000.8203.9436,6090.8182427,523422,020
Nigeria0.500101.5000.5134.4322,3370.5141.6332,247320,861
Brazil431.92.000439.1001.8403.31,064,7091.94251,069,9191,054,182
Bangladesh0.60098.7000.589206,5700.594.4212,143214,432
Russia11.7001677.60010.81571.12,331,47911.41652.12,419,1342,371,536
Ethiopia0.10012.9000.126167,3000.127.8159,695148,724
Philippines1.200132.2001.1127.1224,9721.2137.8235,302227,858
Egypt1.900206.8001.7187.1299,7791.8196.5307,453331,357
DR Congo2.3008.656,1208.455,44353,561
Vietnam2.900284.8003.1301.2470,5783290.6454,890399,801
Iran7.300642.6007.1627.3844,6497.1615.7856,658891,701
Thailand3.300234.7003.4246.7433,7733.5257.1432,151418,544
Tanzania0.30016.5000.219.689,2550.219.986,30881,073
South Africa6.600391.7006.6391.1501,5217.6444.9555,409548,101
Kenya0.30017.4000.319.480,1880.320.278,59470,818
Myanmar0.50027.7000.634.7128,9490.635.2129,006126,490
Uganda0.1005.7000.19.339,2800.19.338,18537,555
Sudan0.40019.5000.420.5107,1140.522.2107,177106,861
Iraq2.900124.7002.9122.8261,2903.5145285,962268,364
Algeria3.200143.2003.1135.6266,7033.3143.6279,201247,182
Argentina174.73.700170.3003.3150.7361,4333.6164.3374,524378,187
Afghanistan170.30031,11932,73732,580
Morocco67.61.80067.4001.763.288,0281.86792,53285,788
Ukraine3.600159.6003.7163.2227,3423.8172.3236,095246,996
Angola0.60019.8000.517.170,7810.723.278,67274,848
Saudi Arabia13.800497.30013.4487712,58513.9502.6720,674715,865
Uzbekistan3.300116.1003.2110.6187,5203.3112.5190,209184,840
Yemen0.3008.4000.38.724,3910.39.925,92725,020
Mozambique0.2007.0000.27.633,7490.28.234,71734,533
Ghana0.70021.4000.620.239,0700.618.736,07034,131
Peru1.40046.4001.343.989,8651.653.8100,39597,102
Malaysia6.700225.9006.8228.1302,0897.1234.1302,135297,794
Nepal0.40013.1000.516.945,8690.313.144,49045,363
Madagascar0.1004.0000.14.730,5660.15.630,83429,201
Ivory Coast0.40012.1000.412.226,4120.412.325,64724,551
Venezuela1.60045.1001.647.2194,2603.191258,589310,340
Cameroon0.2006.6000.39.293,3490.38.992,15391,748
Niger0.1002.5000.13.244,7960.1342,75040,818
North Korea2.667.376,0802.771.579,30674,193
Syria1.00022.0001.122.547,1121.224.247,60647,033
Mali43,49241,16239,735
Taiwan11.700278.80011.3271.811.4272.8
Burkina Faso32,26331,63730,655
Sri Lanka1.00021.10012235,117123.735,47833,285
Malawi11,98211,76510,530
Zambia0.3006.1000.37.836,1080.37.536,61035,738
Kazakhstan11.800223.70010.9207.1294,80610.7200.1286,968299,701
Romania67.73.70069.8003.466.695,7443.672101,844103,465
Chad89,55884,29381,268
Somalia26,27226,12225,618
Ecuador1.90034.1001.731.168,0562.136.474,11373,972
Guatemala1.10018.3000.918.633,1661.120.834,76933,501
Senegal0.5009.3000.58.430,2930.58.731,08228,041
Cambodia0.80013.1000.814.442,3630.813.841,94837,519
Zimbabwe0.6009.0000.51125,9880.712.928,69729,374
Guinea29,74628,65426,413
Rwanda0.1001.4000.12.16,3300.12.26,3386,106
Benin0.4005.5000.68.516,1910.67.915,62215,267
Burundi4,1034,2154,519
Bolivia1.70020.2001.417.455,2031.720.758,31056,831
Tunisia27.12.20026.9002.125.740,8832.226.842,60042,464
Haiti0.3003.1000.33.910,2670.34.110,32110,195
Dominican Republic2.40026.8002.22537,0532.426.539,75339,252
Jordan1.80020.6001.820.22.122.334,89935,967
South Sudan0.2001.8000.21.856,0510.21.949,18156,398
Cuba1.80020.5001.921.238,5592.12439,35441,721
Honduras0.9009.2000.88.921,1470.910.122,12121,043
Papua New Guinea18,39820,32720,065
Azerbaijan33.93.40034.0003.232.255,3523.333.556,53753,176
Tajikistan0.8007.4000.87.417,6920.7717,41616,021
United Arab Emirates19.300180.70018.9176.3249,92819.2178.1248,671234,349
Belarus80.553.1005.653.287,8685.956.190,32091,880
Togo0.2001.8000.22.28,3950.21.87,9327,569
Sierra Leone5,9525,8736,818
Laos2.40017.9002.317.530,4912.417.829,98330,205
Hong Kong4.60034.3004.634.65.743
Nicaragua0.7004.8000.64.818,4490.75.418,59818,268
Serbia476.50044.2006.646.362,8846.54662,15361,655
Libya6.10041.2005.839.275,3706.845.3114,301109,311
Paraguay1.2008.3001.1850,7841.28.549,37148,376
Kyrgyzstan8.81.4009.2001.38.416,0941.49.316,93218,120
Bulgaria405.60038.7004.833.846,4935.538.851,52653,370
Turkmenistan9.30059.2009.559.5194,0929.659.4216,206199,522
El Salvador1.1006.90016.211,0641.27.612,49511,642
Republic of the Congo0.6003.7000.64.119,4220.64.120,02218,752
Singapore8.40045.5007.743.964,2677.945.365,00664,328
Central African Republic21,01619,86921,510
Slovakia28.530.6005.128.135,9845.430.238,04039,884
Liberia2,1552,1422,015
Lebanon2.90016.0003.721.228,9474.425.934,13234,290
Mauritania14,05613,99713,590
Oman15.40069.70014.164.795,0821569.399,95299,261
Panama2.40010.6002.29.517,231312.820,58917,297
Kuwait23.10098.10020.891.4135,89720.591.8137,497134,810
Croatia16.23.90015.1003.61521,3793.815.922,30222,214
Eritrea0.2000.6000.20.86,2420.20.86,1796,130
Georgia10.62.7009.9002.59.517,6692.69.717,84317,135
Mongolia6.70022.6006.32153,92172356,96553,370
Uruguay2.2007.5001.86.535,9941.96.936,56136,239
Moldova3.4008.80038.312,9863.18.613,45213,308
Bosnia and Herzegovina20.76.30020.7006.221.126,0536.221.426,21827,771
Gambia2,4532,3912,214
Albania3.61.4003.9001.23.58,3041.44.29,1969,671
Jamaica2.1006.0001.95.57,4332.98.210,01010,166
Armenia2.5006.9002.36.510,4222.169,8759,444
Qatar31.70085.20030.484.3119,60530.887121,514119,194
Botswana2.4006.2002.3612,3752.97.510,61813,322
Namibia1.4003.6001.43.613,5601.63.910,78911,617
Gabon1.0002.3000.92.814,84912.915,09414,021
Lesotho4,0143,8463,952
Guinea Bissau2,5472,5152,489
North Macedonia7.73.3006.9003.36.99,7693.88.110,89210,011
Equatorial Guinea1.8003.0001.82.99,54323.110,29310,907
Trinidad and Tobago8.60013.1009.814.926,84110.916.728,91629,205
Bahrain32.80021.732.254,15121.832.754,19551,258
Timor Leste5,5376,0656,086
Mauritius3.1004.0002.93.86,4363.34.26,8466,740
Cyprus6.26.9006.0006.768,1097.36.58,5428,560
Eswatini1.0001.20011.33,00111.33,0522,925
Djibouti1,3951,3881,368
Fiji1,7642,1882,077
Comoros620618593
Guyana3.32.75,2823.32.75,0694,768
Bhutan1,6312,0522,074
Solomon Islands835890858
Suriname4.2002.6004.32.64,3124.42.74,3593,780
Montenegro2.84.1002.6004.12.63,7644.22.73,8323,741
Cape Verde792755
Malta1.73.1001.6003.11.62,0823.31.72,1412,047
Maldives1,9952,4912,217
Brunei20.5009.10020.89.211,91415.26.79,3929,853
Belize1,5731,6021,428
Bahamas2,8012,9583,123
Vanuatu589643681
Barbados3,6563,7113,796
Sao Tome and Principe180176173
Samoa539580
Curacao14.5002.20013215.72.5
Saint Lucia851881868
Kiribati89104103
Grenada2,3972,4092,372
Micronesia194233230
Tonga268311282
Seychelles770760761
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines302317334
Antigua and Barbuda1,2041,2111,185
Andorra578606617
Dominica231242232
Saint Kitts and Nevis334350346
Marshall Islands165205201
Liechtenstein158164158
Gibraltar19.6000.60019.40.721.70.7
Palau196253245
Nauru475960
Tuvalu222423
showing: 195 rows

What country has the most greenhouse gas emissions?

China has the greatest abundance of greenhouse gas emissions on Earth.

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