A list of the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitters and the countries trying to change

global warming statisticsWith North America preoccupied with political scandals and terrorism (what else is new?), I figured it might be a good time to change the subject to something that actually matters. Something that affects every soul walking this earth: global warming.

Meet the world’s biggest CO2 polluters. If the world is to combat climate change, these countries will have their work cut out for them.

While they are the world’s worst CO2 emitters, they could also be considered among the earth’s biggest fossil fuel extractors and users. They do after all go hand in hand.

China tops the list to no one’s surprise. China accounts for nearly half of the world’s coal consumption and continues to increase its oil imports, but there is a silver lining here. China is making huge investments in green energy.

global warming statistics: Top Investors of Green Energy (2012)
Top Investors of Green Energy (2012)

Out of the $269 billion spent globally on green energy last year, China’s share was $65.1 billion, more than a fifth. The United States is the world’s second largest CO2 polluter and has now been relegated to 2nd place in green energy investment. In fact, US investment has shrunk close to 40% in just the last year.

Of the top emitters, there are a handful of countries that also make the list per capita. Out of Australia, The US, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Russia and South Korea, only the United States is in the top ten in green energy development.

Unfortunately, most of the fossil fuel rich countries still don’t feel the need to invest in the planet and their economic future. Oil and coal won’t be around forever, if these countries don’t join the club soon they’ll find themselves going from riches to rags in no time.

Rank

Country

 Annual CO2 Emissions (Thousands of Tons) 2008

% of World Emissions

1

 China

7,031,916

23.50%

2

 United States

5,461,014

18.27%

3

 India

1,742,698

5.83%

4

 Russia

1,708,653

5.72%

5

 Japan

1,208,163

4.04%

6

 Germany

786,660

2.63%

7

 Canada

544,091

1.82%

8

 Iran

538,404

1.80%

9

 United Kingdom

522,856

1.75%

10

 South Korea

509,170

1.70%

11

 Mexico

475,834

1.59%

12

 Italy

445,119

1.49%

13

 South Africa

435,878

1.46%

14

 Saudi Arabia

433,557

1.45%

15

 Indonesia

406,029

1.36%

16

 Australia

399,219

1.34%

17

 Brazil

393,220

1.32%

18

 France

376,986

1.26%

19

 Spain

329,286

1.10%

20

 Ukraine

323,532

1.08%

21

 Poland

316,066

1.06%

22

 Thailand

285,733

0.96%

23

 Turkey

283,980

0.95%

24

 Taiwan

258,599

0.87%

25

 Kazakhstan

236,954

0.79%

Countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_world_map_deobfuscated

Rank

Country

 Metric tons of CO2 Per Capita (2009)

1

 Qatar

44

2

 Trinidad and Tobago

35.8

3

 Netherlands Antilles

31

4

 Kuwait

30.3

5

 Brunei

23.7

6

 United Arab Emirates

22.6

7

 Aruba

21.5

8

 Bahrain

20.7

9

 Luxembourg

20.4

10

 Falkland Islands

19.6

11

 Australia

18.3

12

 United States

17.2

13

 Saudi Arabia

16.1

14

 Canada

15.3

15

 Oman

15.2

16

 Gibraltar

14.8

17

 Faroe Islands

14.6

18

 Nauru

14.4

19

 Kazakhstan

14.3

20

 Montserrat

13.1

21

 New Caledonia

12

22

 Estonia

11.9

23

 Russia

11

24

 Saint Pierre and Miquelon

10.9

25

 South Korea

10.6

1 COMMENT

  1. “Meet the world’s biggest CO2 polluters..”

    Um, somehow you left out the biggest CO2 polluter of them all, the earth itself. The earth produces 30 times more CO2 every year than all of humanity combined. And it also produces many thousands of times more GH gasses than all of humanity combined, in the form of water vapor.

    How the heck did you forget that?

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