This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable
July 22nd, 2008
Burning Season
Data: Top Twenty Global Carbon Dioxide Emitters

Carbon dioxide emissions from the consumption of oil, coal and natural gas, including land use and forestation*
(in millions of metric tons)

*Land Use is defined as the human modification of natural environment or wilderness into fields, pastures, and settlements, including deforestation and the clearing and burning of living biomass. Forestation is the establishment of a forest, naturally or artificially, on an area, whether previously forested or not. Forestation has the positive effect of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. This graph is a net total including emissions and reductions from forestry.

Data for 2004-2005. Land Usage/Forestation data not available for Canada, Mexico, and Australia.
Source: UNDP, Human Development Report 2007/2008: Fight Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World

Carbon dioxide emissions from the consumption of oil, coal and natural gas
(in millions of metric tons)

Carbon dioxide emissions per capita
(in metric tons per person)

Source: UNDP, Human Development Report 2007/2008: Fight Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World
Population Source: Population Reference Bureau — 2004 World Population Data Sheet

Carbon dioxide emissions by gross domestic product
(in kilograms of carbon dioxide per U.S. dollar PPP*)

* PPP: Purchasing power parity takes into account different living standards and exchange rates between nations in order to compare a given basket of goods. GDP PPP data in 2000 U.S. dollars
Source: International Energy Agency, Key World Energy Statistics 2007

INDONESIA: Land usage in Indonesia — particularly the burning and clearing of forests for agriculture — significantly increases its carbon dioxide emissions. When deforestation is factored in, Indonesia ranks third in the world for carbon dioxide emissions, behind only the United States and China.

CHINA: Many studies on climate change conclude that China has already overtaken the United States in carbon dioxide emissions. China makes 44 percent of the world’s cement; cement production releases greenhouse gases when calcium carbonate (a compound found in all forms of rock) is heated, producing lime and carbon dioxide. The cement industry produces 5 percent of global man-made carbon dioxide emissions. China also relies on coal for two-thirds of its energy needs.

AUSTRALIA: Despite having only 0.32 percent of the world population, Australia contributes 1.43 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. Over the last 25 years, Australian emissions grew at approximately twice the rate of the world as a whole, twice the rate of the USA and Japan, and five times the growth rate for Europe.

GERMANY: In July 2008, Germany passed new laws to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by doubling the amount of power from renewable energy sources. The government plans to reduce Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. That is twice the minimum percentage cut that the European Union’s 27 member states agreed to last year.

UNITED STATES: In 2008, a research team at Purdue University identified the top carbon-dioxide emitting counties in the United States. Harris County, Texas (which includes the city of Houston) tops the list with 18.625 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted per year, followed by Los Angeles County, California (18.595 million tons) and Cook County (Chicago), Illinois (13.209 million tons).

INDIA: Carbon dioxide emissions are rising rapidly in India as more cars take to the road. India is expected to surpass China as the world’s fastest growing car market sometime within the next five years. India’s vehicles accounted for 219 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2005.

Sources: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, The Guardian, ScienceDaily, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, International Herald Tribune

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2020 WNET.ORG Properties LLC. All rights reserved.