Greenhouse Gas Emissions By Country 2021

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A greenhouse gas (GHG) is a gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases let sunlight pass through the atmosphere but prevent heat from leaving the atmosphere, also known as the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases are essential to keeping the Earth warm; without them, the Earth would be an average of about 0°F.

The primary greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

Carbon dioxide is emitted through the burning of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil), solid waste, biological materials, and as a result of some chemical reactions. Methane enters the atmosphere during the production and transportation of coal, natural gas, and oil and as a result of livestock and agricultural practices. Nitrous oxide is emitted during industrial and agricultural activities, the combustion of fossil fuels, and through the treatment of wastewater.

Of these, carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most abundant greenhouse gas. 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.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the economic sectors that produce the largest amounts of greenhouse gas emissions are electricity and heat production (25%), agriculture, forestry, and other land use (24%), industry (21%), and transportation (14%).

Emissions by Country

The world’s countries produce 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 mix, and more.

In 2017, global carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion reached 32.8 billion tons in 2017 according to the International Energy Agency. China, the largest contributor, was responsible for 28% of these emissions, followed by the United States (14%), the European Union as a whole (10%), India (7%), Russia (5%), Japan (3%), Korea (2%), Canada (2%), Indonesia (2%), and Iran (2%). All other countries produced about 25% of emissions.

The 20 countries with the highest carbon dioxide emissions (in million tons (Mt)) are:

  1. China (9,300 Mt)
  2. The United States (4,800 Mt)
  3. India (2,200 Mt)
  4. Russia (1,500 Mt)
  5. Japan (1,100 Mt)
  6. Germany (718.8 Mt)
  7. Korea (600 Mt)
  8. Iran (567.1 Mt)
  9. Canada (547.8 Mt)
  10. Saudi Arabia (532.2 Mt)
  11. Indonesia (496.4 Mt)
  12. Mexico (446.0 Mt)
  13. Brazil (427.6 Mt)
  14. South Africa (421.7 Mt)
  15. Australia (384.6 Mt)
  16. Turkey (378.6 Mt)
  17. United Kingdom (358.7 Mt)
  18. Italy (321.5 Mt)
  19. France (306.1 Mt)
  20. Poland (305.8 Mt)

1. China

China has the highest greenhouse gas emissions of any country in the world. In 2017, China emitted 9.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide. China faces widespread criticism from the international community about its carbon footprint and is pressured to control its growing emission levels. The country’s economic growth has primarily been powered by coal, which produces up to twice the amount of carbon dioxide than 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.

2. The United States

The United States is the second-largest contributor of CO2 emissions, responsible for 4.8 billion tons of CO2 in 2017. The United States emitted a total of 6.5 billion tons of greenhouse gases. 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 leveling of electricity demand. The transportation sector is the largest contributor to emissions, responsible for 29% of emissions, followed by electricity (28%), and industry (22%).

3. India

India, like China, has a large population – the second-largest in the world of 1.38 billion people. India is the third-largest contributor of carbon dioxide emissions, emitting 2.2 billion tons of CO2 in 2017. 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.

4. Russia

Russia is the fourth-largest contributor of CO2 emissions, emitting 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2017. Russia’s per capita emissions are among the highest in the world: 53% higher than China and 79% higher than the European Union. The majority of greenhouse gas emissions in Russia are from the energy industry (78.9%), nearly half of which comes from the production of electricity and heat for the general population. Industrial production accounts for an additional 10.8% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

5. Japan

Japan is the fifth-largest contributor of greenhouse gases and the fifth and final nations that contributes over one billion metric tons per year. Japan emitted 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2017. 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.

6. Germany

Germany is responsible for 718.8 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted in 2017. In 2019, Germany emitted 6.3% fewer greenhouse gases than in 2018. Since 1990, Germany has reduced its emissions by 35.7%. This is attributed to shutting down coal-fired power plants, expanding wind and solar energy, and successful reform of European emissions trading. Germany’s goal is to cut emissions by 55% by 2030 and to run on 80% renewable energy sources by 2050.

7. South Korea

Korea emitted 600 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2017. Korea emitted 709.1 million tons total of greenhouse gases, the highest it has ever been. The growth is attributed to an increase in gas emissions from electricity and heat production, specifically coal, and steel production. The number of new coal power plants that went into operation in 2017 surpassed the number that were decommissioned, leading to the major increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

8. Iran

Iran is the eighth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, emitting 567.1 million tons of CO2 in 2017. Between 1990 and 2016, Iran’s CO2 emissions rose by about 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 renewable energy potential. 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, preventing resources to be used for climate initiatives.

9. Canada

Canada emitted 547.8 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2017. Canada is warming up at twice the rate as the rest of the world, despite having a large network of hydroelectric dams and nuclear plants. 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. Despite Canada’s economy and population both growing since 1990, overall total greenhouse gas emissions per GDP and per person have declined.

10. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is the tenth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, emitting 532.2 million tons of CO2 in 2017. Saudi Arabia’s economy is very oil-dependent and the country needs to diversify its economy and set higher goals in order to lower future emissions. Saudi Aramco, the official Saudi Arabian Oil Company, has contributed the most to global carbon dioxide emissions since the 1960s.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions By Country 2021

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions By Country 2021

Country Total CO2 Emissions 2021 Population
China2,806,6341,444,216,107
United States1,432,855332,915,073
India610,4111,393,409,038
Russia465,052145,912,025
Japan331,074126,050,804
Germany196,31483,900,473
Iran177,11585,028,759
Saudi Arabia163,90735,340,683
South Korea160,11951,305,186
Canada146,49438,067,903
Brazil144,480213,993,437
South Africa133,56260,041,994
Mexico130,971130,262,216
Indonesia126,582276,361,783
United Kingdom114,48668,207,116
Australia98,51725,788,215
Turkey94,35085,042,738
Italy87,37760,367,477
Thailand86,23269,950,850
France82,70465,426,179
Poland77,92237,797,005
Taiwan72,01323,855,010
Kazakhstan67,71618,994,962
Malaysia66,21832,776,194
Spain63,80646,745,216
Ukraine61,98543,466,819
United Arab Emirates57,6419,991,089
Argentina55,63845,605,826
Egypt55,057104,258,327
Venezuela50,51028,704,954
Iraq45,93541,179,350
Netherlands45,62417,173,099
Vietnam45,51798,168,833
Pakistan45,350225,199,937
Algeria39,65144,616,624
Qatar29,4122,930,528
Philippines28,812111,046,913
Uzbekistan28,69233,935,763
Czech Republic26,30910,724,555
Nigeria26,256211,400,708
Kuwait26,0184,328,550
Belgium25,45711,632,326
Colombia22,93251,265,844
Chile22,51519,212,361
Bangladesh19,959166,303,498
Romania19,09019,127,774
Turkmenistan18,6596,117,924
Greece18,35810,370,744
Israel17,6178,789,774
Belarus17,3169,442,862
Peru16,83833,359,418
Oman16,6815,223,375
Morocco16,32537,344,795
Austria16,0119,043,070
Libya15,5436,958,532
Singapore15,3735,896,686
Norway12,9885,465,630
Finland12,8995,548,360
Trinidad And Tobago12,6191,403,375
Hong Kong12,6057,552,810
Portugal12,28610,167,925
Ecuador11,97717,888,475
Sweden11,84110,160,169
Bulgaria11,5676,896,663
Hungary11,4779,634,164
North Korea11,05225,887,041
Serbia10,2728,697,550
Azerbaijan10,22310,223,342
Switzerland9,6288,715,494
Cuba9,50011,317,505
Angola9,48033,933,610
New Zealand9,4534,860,643
Ireland9,2904,982,907
Denmark9,1355,813,298
Bahrain8,5461,748,296
Syria8,37318,275,702
Slovakia8,3665,460,721
Tunisia7,86211,935,766
Jordan7,21310,269,021
Lebanon6,5646,769,146
Yemen6,19030,490,640
Bosnia And Herzegovina6,0633,263,466
Myanmar5,89954,806,012
Dominican Republic5,87410,953,703
Mongolia5,6833,329,289
Bolivia5,56611,832,940
Estonia5,3231,325,185
Sri Lanka5,01621,497,310
Guatemala4,99818,249,860
Croatia4,5934,081,651
Sudan4,19044,909,353
Ghana3,94531,732,129
Kenya3,89654,985,698
Lithuania3,5012,689,862
Slovenia3,4942,078,724
Zimbabwe3,27815,092,171
Ethiopia3,163117,876,227
Tanzania3,15361,498,437
Ivory Coast3,01227,053,629
Afghanistan2,67539,835,428
Luxembourg2,634634,814
Kyrgyzstan2,6206,628,356
Honduras2,58310,062,991
Brunei2,484441,532
Georgia2,4513,979,765
Senegal2,41517,196,301
Panama2,4004,381,579
Mozambique2,29832,163,047
Nepal2,19029,674,920
Costa Rica2,1165,139,052
Jamaica2,0242,973,463
Botswana1,9182,397,241
Cameroon1,91027,224,265
Latvia1,9021,866,942
Uruguay1,8403,485,151
Cambodia1,82316,946,438
Papua New Guinea1,7239,119,010
Benin1,72312,451,040
El Salvador1,7146,518,499
Cyprus1,6531,215,584
Curacao1,604164,798
Albania1,5592,872,933
Paraguay1,5557,219,638
Armenia1,5082,968,127
Equatorial Guinea1,4581,449,896
Uganda1,42647,123,531
Gabon1,4162,278,825
Tajikistan1,4159,749,627
Moldova1,3454,024,019
Nicaragua1,3266,702,385
Dr Congo1,27492,377,993
Zambia1,22818,920,651
New Caledonia1,170288,218
Mauritius1,1531,273,433
Reunion1,138901,686
Namibia1,0242,587,344
Republic Of The Congo8445,657,013
Madagascar83928,427,328
Haiti78011,541,685
Burkina Faso77721,497,096
Palestine7745,222,748
Mauritania7394,775,119
Togo7158,478,250
Guadeloupe700400,020
Lesotho6732,159,079
Guinea66813,497,244
Bahamas659396,913
Malta640442,784
Martinique627374,745
Montenegro603628,053
Niger58025,130,817
Guyana548790,326
Suriname543591,800
Iceland541343,353
Laos5337,379,358
South Sudan40811,381,378
Mali38520,855,735
Maldives364543,617
Sierra Leone3578,141,343
Macau350658,394
Malawi34819,647,684
Barbados347287,711
Eswatini3281,172,362
Fiji319902,906
Bhutan273779,898
Liberia2555,180,203
Aruba238107,204
Rwanda22913,276,513
French Polynesia219282,530
Saint Martin20039,234
French Guiana200306,448
Chad19916,914,985
Djibouti1971,002,187
Eritrea1903,601,467
Somalia16616,359,504
Faroe Islands16349,049
Bermuda15762,090
Cayman Islands14866,497
Antigua And Barbuda14598,731
Gibraltar14433,698
Gambia1402,486,945
Greenland13856,877
Seychelles13598,908
Belize135404,914
Cape Verde134561,898
Timor Leste1281,343,873
Andorra12677,355
Burundi12012,255,433
Saint Lucia111184,400
Central African Republic824,919,981
Guinea Bissau742,015,494
Palau7118,169
Grenada66113,021
Saint Kitts And Nevis6353,544
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines57111,263
Turks And Caicos Islands5639,231
Solomon Islands55703,996
Samoa54200,149
British Virgin Islands4930,421
Vanuatu42314,464
Comoros42888,451
Micronesia41116,254
Anguilla3915,117
Dominica3772,167
Tonga33106,760
Sao Tome And Principe31223,368
Marshall Islands2859,610
Saint Pierre And Miquelon215,766
Cook Islands1917,565
Kiribati17121,392
Falkland Islands153,533
Montserrat134,977
Nauru1310,876
Liechtenstein1238,250
Wallis And Futuna611,094
Niue31,619
Tuvalu311,931

Greenhouse Gas Emissions By Country 2021