Carbon dioxide emissions are the primary driver of global climate change. It’s widely recognised that to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the world needs to urgently reduce emissions. But, how this responsibility is shared between regions, countries, and individuals has been an endless point of contention in international discussions.
Carbon dioxide emissions associated with energy and industrial production can come from a range of fuel types. The contribution of each of these sources has changed significantly through time, and still shows large differences by region. The chart shows the absolute and relative contribution of CO2 emissions by source, differentiated between coal, gas, oil, flaring, and cement production.
To stabilize (or even reduce) concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, the world needs to reach net-zero emissions. This requires large and fast reductions in emissions. At a time when global emissions need to be falling, they are in fact still rising, as the interactive chart here shows. The world has not yet peaked.
This interactive chart shows the breakdown of global CO2 emissions by region.
Until well into the 20th century, global emissions were dominated by Europe and the United States. In the second half of the 20th century we see a significant rise in emissions in the rest of the world, particularly across Asia, and most notably, China.The US and Europe now account for just under one-third of emissions.