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Visualizing All the World’s Carbon Emissions by Country

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all carbon emissions by country

Visualizing All The World’s Carbon Emissions By Country

The greenhouse effect, essential for sustaining Earth’s life-friendly temperatures, has been intensified by burning fossil fuels.

This amplification of the natural greenhouse effect has led to significant alterations to the planet’s climate system.

The graphic above uses data from the Global Carbon Atlas to explore which countries contribute the most to CO₂ emissions.

Ranked: Global CO₂ Emissions by Country

According to the Global Carbon Atlas, the world’s top polluters are China, India, and the U.S., which accounted for 52% of the world’s CO₂ in 2021.

These countries are also the biggest in terms of population.

RankCountryRegionTotal Emissions (%)
#1🇨🇳 China Asia30.9%
#2🇺🇸 U.S.North America13.5%
#3🇮🇳 India Asia7.3%
#4🇷🇺 Russia Europe4.7%
#5🇯🇵 JapanAsia2.9%
#6🇮🇷 Iran Asia2.0%
#7🇩🇪 GermanyEurope1.8%
#8🇸🇦 Saudi ArabiaOther1.8%
#9🇮🇩 Indonesia Asia1.7%
#10🇰🇷 South Korea Asia1.7%
#11🇨🇦 CanadaNorth America1.5%
#12🇧🇷 Brazil South America1.3%
#13🇹🇷 TürkiyeEurope1.2%
#14🇿🇦 South AfricaAfrica1.2%
#15🇲🇽 Mexico North America1.1%
#16🇦🇺 Australia Oceania 1.1%
#17🇬🇧 UKEurope0.9%
#18🇮🇹 Italy Europe0.9%
#19🇵🇱 PolandEurope 0.9%
n/a🌐 Rest of WorldOther21.7%

In terms of CO₂ emissions per capita (metric tons), the U.S. is relatively high at 15.32, while China and India rank lower at 7.44 and 1.89, respectively.

Historically, the U.S. has been the largest carbon emitter, releasing 422 billion metric tons of CO₂ into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. This is equivalent to almost a quarter of all CO₂ produced from fossil fuels and industrial activities.

Given their massive populations and the fact that countries typically increase their emissions as they become more developed, China and India may continue to grow their shares even further. The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that India’s share of global emissions could rise to 10% by 2030.

All of these major contributors of carbon to the atmosphere have set goals to reduce emissions over the next decades. While the U.S. targets net-zero emissions by 2050, China aims for carbon neutrality by 2060 and India recently set a target of 2070.

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Ranked: Top 20 Countries by Plastic Waste per Capita

Visualizing plastic waste per capita reveals a surprising list of countries that you may not have expected.

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Ranked: Top 20 Countries by Plastic Waste per Capita

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Single-use plastic waste is perhaps one of the biggest environmental issues of our time. Every year, millions of tons of plastic end up in oceans and landfills, harming wildlife and ecosystems.

To make matters worse, plastics take hundreds of years to decompose, leading to long-term environmental and health hazards as they break down into microplastics that contaminate water and food sources.

In this graphic, we visualized the top 20 countries that generated the most single-use plastic waste per capita in 2019, measured in kilograms per person. Figures come from research published in May 2021, which we sourced from Statista.

Data and Key Takeaways

The data we used to create this graphic is listed in the table below.

RankCountryKg per personPounds per person
1🇸🇬 Singapore76168
2🇦🇺 Australia59130
3🇴🇲 Oman56123
4🇳🇱 Netherlands55121
5🇧🇪 Belgium55121
6🇮🇱 Israel55121
7🇭🇰 Hong Kong55121
8🇨🇭 Switzerland53117
9🇺🇸 U.S.53117
10🇦🇪 UAE52115
11🇨🇱 Chile51112
12🇰🇷 S. Korea4497
13🇬🇧 UK4497
14🇰🇼 Kuwait4088
15🇳🇿 New Zealand3986
16🇮🇪 Ireland3986
17🇫🇮 Finland3884
18🇯🇵 Japan3782
19🇫🇷 France3679
20🇸🇮 Slovenia3577

Countries from all around the world are present in this ranking, highlighting how plastic waste isn’t concentrated in any one region.

It’s also interesting to note how most of the countries in this top 20 ranking are wealthier, more developed nations. These nations have higher levels of consumption, with greater access to packaged goods, take-out services, and disposable products, all of which rely on single-use plastics.

Where’s China and India?

Note that we’ve visualized plastic waste per capita, which is different from the total amount of waste produced by a country. It is for this reason that major polluters, such as China and India, are not present in this ranking.

It’s also worth noting that this focuses on the demand side of plastics, rather than where plastic products were initially created or produced.

If you’re interested to see more visuals on plastic waste, check out Which Countries Pollute the Most Ocean Plastic Waste?.

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