Carbon Emissions by Country: Top 15

Including total carbon emissions, per capita amounts, main drivers, and outlook.

Power Plant in the sunrise


Carbon dioxide emissions are the primary driver of climate change, but they're not the only one. Other温室气体包括甲烷、水蒸气、一氧化二氮和氟化气体(包括氢氟碳化合物、全氟碳化合物、六氟化硫和三氟化氮)。

虽然很难量化所有温室气体排放量,但二氧化碳排放数据提供了一种更直接的方法来了解其影响的严重性。这份二氧化碳排放量最高的前15个国家的名单是基于Global Carbon Project'smost recent data (2019) andOurWorldinData.organalysis. All units are metric tons.

CO2 emissions per country 2000-2019
CO2 emissions per country, 2000-2019, top 15 countries.

Our World Data / Creative Commons BY 4.0

Is This the Right Way to Understand Carbon Emissions?

本文包含排放数量/在此y, but not everyone agrees that this is the best way to identify the worst offenders. Some experts believe that countries like China, whose emissions are high in part because it produces goods that are used by people all over the world, should be measured differently. For example, the difference betweenCO2 used in production vs. consumptionin the United States is much smaller than China's, meaning that in the U.S. much of the CO2 emissions come from people, while in China it comes from the manufacturing of products that go to the rest of the world.

Others think that the per-capita emissions numbers—the amount of emissions produced per person—is a more appropriate standard. This method allows us to understand those countries with smaller populations alongside those with larger ones more clearly.



  1. 卡塔尔-每人38.61吨
  2. New Caledonia - 29.86 tons per person
  3. 特立尼达和多巴哥-每人27.14吨
  4. Kuwait - 25.56 tons per person
  5. Brunei - 20.99 tons per person
  6. Bahrain - 20.93 tons per person
  7. Mongolia - 20.31 tones per person
  8. 阿拉伯联合酋长国-每人19.52吨
  9. Sint Maarten - 17.93 tons per person
  10. Saudi Arabia - 16.99 tons per person
  11. Kazakhstan - 16.92 tons per person

*Numbers 11 and 12 on the per-capital list are Australia and the United States.


Further complicating the analysis, there are many different databases that seek to quantify global carbon emissions. The 2018International Energy Agency指数,例如,只包括燃料燃烧,while the Global Carbon Project's includes these emissions as well as cement production—a major contributor to CO2.

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China—10.17 Billion Tons

Heavy Smog Hit North China
Pedestrians wearing masks walk along a street in heavy smog in Dalian, China.

AsiaPac / Getty Images

人均:6.86 tons per person

While China is by far the leader of global carbon emissions, it also has such a large population that its per-capita numbers are actually lower than many other countries' (there are about 50 countries with higher per-capital carbon emissions). It's also worth considering that China manufactures and ships many of the products that the rest of the world uses.

China's emissionscome primarily from its many coal-burning power plants, which power its factories and provide electricity to industries and to people's homes. China is pursuing an aggressive reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, with a plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The country'smixed plan然而,减少排放却招致了批评。为了减少二氧化碳排放,中国计划增建煤电厂,并将运输系统改为电力系统。亚博彩票买lol

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United States—5.28 Billion Tons

Los Angeles, California. 斯坦普托/盖蒂图片社



Emissions come from coal, oil, and gas used in power plants to create electricity for homes and industry, and from transportation. Since about the year 2000, the United States'二氧化碳排放量一直呈下降趋势, driven by a significant reduction in coal-burning power plants.

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India—2.62 Billion Tons

Delhi, India. Tim Graham / Getty Images

人均:1.84 tons per person

Like China, India is higher on this list due to a large population, although per-capita use is lower than in many other countries. Compared to the United States,India's contribution to CO2在过去的30年里,美国的经济增长速度才真正加快,而美国的经济增长速度已经持续了120年。

Still, India's contribution to the world's CO2 budget has been rising year-over-year and比平均速度快. India's emissions come from a combination of both electricity generation for its growing population as well as to power the country's industry. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in late 2020 that the country plans toreduce its CO2 production by 30%by directly supporting renewable energy and solar projects, among other plans.

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Russia—1.68 Billion Tons

Pollution in Vladivostok
Vladivostok-2 coal power station in Siberia, Russia. dataichi - Simon Dubreuil / Getty Images

人均:11.31 tons per person

Russia is a large country that uses a mix of coal, oil, and gas to create electricity, primarily to heat people's homes and run its industry. Itssecond-largest source of CO2 emissionsis fugitive emissions. Those come from gas and oil drilling, as well asleaky pipelinesthat transport fossil fuels. Since the 1990s, the country has reduced its dependence on coal and oil and increased its use of natural gas.

Russia also has plans to cut CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030, which it aims to achieve through a combination of new, hydrogen-fueled passenger railways, a carbon emissions trading scheme, reducing dependence on coal, and increasing natural gas use.

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Japan—1.11 Billion Tons

Kawasaki, Japan. Masakazu Ejiri / Getty Images

人均:9.31 tons per person

Since 2013,Japan's carbon emissionshave been on a significant downward trend, decreasing from 1.31 billion tons of CO2 in 2013 to 1.11 billion tons in 2019. The emissions come mostly from the country's direct consumption of fossil fuels for its densely packed population concentrated in cities, and some manufacturing, though Japan, as an island nation, also imports quite a lot from other countries.

Japan has set the goal to achievecarbon neutrality by 2050并计划加快实现气候变化目标。日本政府和私营部门也在投资太阳能和风能,以及一些实验性能源。

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Oil refinery and natural gas company, Persian Gulf, Iran. Germán Vogel / Getty Images

人均:8.98 tons per person

Perhaps not surprisingly for an oil-rich nation, the vast majority of Iran's carbon emissionscome from oil and gas, with almost no coal in the mix. Most of its net emissions come from the same areas that most countries' do: electricity and heat generation, buildings, and transportation. Where Iran does differ from many others on this list is in the category of fugitive emissions, which are leaks from storage tanks and pipelines.

伊朗并没有对减少二氧化碳排放做出很多承诺,而且该国has not ratified the Paris Agreement. However, there areways for the country to significantly cut emissionsby improving the efficiency of power plants and curbing gas flaring alone, which could even put it in line with the international climate treaty.

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Germany—702 Million Tons

Industrial area in Dusseldorf, Germany. 德克迈斯特/盖蒂图片社

人均:9.52 tons per person

Germany's CO2 emissions have been on a下降趋势since about 1980, with coal, in particular, taking a nosedive in consumption, as well as reductions in oil, while natural gas has remained about the same. Most of the fossil fuels burned are for heat and electricity, followed by transportation and buildings.

The country'sClimate Action Plan 2050includes targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases by 55% of 1990 levels by 2030, and 80% to 95% by 2050, to get as close to carbon neutrality by then as possible. Each sector of the economy has different and specific goals, including further expansion of renewable energy and phasing out the creation of electricity from fossil fuels, which will reduce the energy sector's emissions by 62%; a 50% reduction by industry; and a 66% to 67% reduction by buildings.

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Indonesia—618 Million Tons

Smoke Emitting From Factory Against Cloudy Sky


人均:2.01 tons per person

Coal and oil use and emissions are bothgrowing in Indonesia, a country comprised of over 17,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, including the islands of Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Guinea. Indonesia's unique composition means it faces different challenges for both economic growth and reduction of CO2 emissions. At the same time, these islands are unusually affected by the rising sea levels due to climate change.

While Indonesia's contribution to the planet's CO2 debt is significant and growing, most of it comes from a different source: land-use change and deforestation (there has been growing electricity production, transportation, and waste sectors, too, but their contribution is dwarfed by the land-use change). That's why the most significant part of theIndonesian government's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissionsby 29% by 2030 is its forest moratorium, which disallows new forest clearance for palm plantations or logging. First introduced in 2011, the moratoriumwas made permanentin 2019. A forest area the size of Japan has already been lost from Indonesia.

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South Korea—611 Million Tons

Aerial view of Seoul cityscape at sunset
韩国首尔城市景观。 Fidelis Simanjuntak / Getty Images

人均:12.15 tons per person

South Korea producesmost of its carbon emissions通过燃烧化石燃料来产生电和热。交通运输、制造业和建筑业紧随其后,中国继续沿着始于20世纪60年代的建筑轨道发展。亚博彩票买lol

South Korea also plans to gocarbon neutral by 2050,在2020年末,该国总统文在寅承诺将提供相当于70亿美元的“绿色新政”,帮助该国在2020年前从冠状病毒中恢复过来替代燃煤电厂with renewable energy, updating public buildings, creating industry complexes designed to use fewer fossil fuels, and even greening up urban areas by planting forests.

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Saudi Arabia—582 Million Tons

沙特阿拉伯利雅得。 薄荷图片社

人均:17.5 tons per person


与伊朗、沙特阿拉伯签署了巴黎的同意ment in 2015. While its work on reducing carbon emissions has been slow, it hascommitted to reducing carbon emissions到2030年,计划包括太阳能、风能和核能技术,提高燃料价格,制定清洁能源标准,并承诺plant 50 billion trees在整个中东,其中100亿在沙特阿拉伯。

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The Petro-Canada Refinery in Strathcona County, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 莱斯利·菲利普/盖蒂图片社

人均:15.59 tons per person

Canada's per-capita emissions have dropped over the last five years, but its overall emissions haven't budged as much. Compared to other similar-sized countries, Canada uses far less coal and more oil and natural gas to power electricity and heat production, as well as transportation in the geographically large country. Perhaps surprisingly, its third-largest carbon contribution comes from the land-use change and forestry category, which produces more carbon emissions than buildings or manufacturing and construction do. That's down tothe country's active forestry businesses, including continued removal ofold-growth forests(significant carbon sinks), forest lands continuing to be converted to croplands, wildfires and insect damage to forests, and other long-term effects of previous forest management practices.

加拿大计划到2030年将碳排放量比2005年减少30%(到2050年实现净零排放),这是更大计划的一部分Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The plan involves both现行政策, including regulating methane emissions, a carbon tax, and a ban on coal power plants, as well as new policies, like building and transportation efficiencies, and changes in land use.

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Smog over Johannesburg
Smog over Johannesburg, South Africa. 查尔斯·奥雷尔/盖蒂图片社


South Africa's carbon emissions have remained about the same for the last decade, with thevast majority coming from the country's coal-fired power plantsand some from oil. More than most countries on this list, that energy goes to create electricity.

Because coal is such a significant contributor to South Africa's carbon emissions (it provides全国80%的电力)逐步淘汰燃煤发电厂和增加可再生能源是该国实现其《巴黎协定》目标(到2030年将2015年产量减少28%)的最简单方法。碳排放交易计划也已启动并运行。

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Air Pollution on Sao Paulo city
Air Pollution in Sao Paulo, Brazil. josemoraes / Getty Images

人均:2.33 tons per person

自2014年以来,巴西的二氧化碳排放量一直在下降呈下降趋势. The country uses some coal and natural gas, but relies most heavily on oil, as it has the largest oil and gas reserves in the region. Despite that fact, the biggest part of Brazil's emissions come from its agricultural sector, with land-use changes being the second-highest source.Large-scale burning of the Brazilian rainforest(for agriculture and logging) has accelerated in the last few years.

Brazil signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, andrecommitted to its goals in 2020, with the specific goals of reducing total net greenhouse gas emissions (including CO2 but not limited to carbon) by 37% in 2025, and 43% by 2030, based on the reference year of 2005's emissions. The goal for net-zero emissions is 2060.

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Mexico—439 Million Tons

Mexico City Faces High Levels Of Air Pollution
Mexico City, Mexico. Cristopher Rogel Blanquet / Getty Images

人均:3.7 tons per person

Oil and gas are Mexico's top sources of carbon emissions—the country uses very little coal. Oil and gas are primarily used to create electricity, followed closely behind by the transportation sector, which uses almost as much energy to move people and goods. Agriculture is third, with much of that food going to the United States, as well as feeding Mexican people.

Mexico signed the Paris Agreement in 2016, and its pledge is to reduce greenhouse gas emissionsby 22% to 36% by 2030(较高的数字反映了对技术转让、获得低成本贷款和其他援助的一些期望)。墨西哥计划到2050年将其碳排放量进一步降低到2000年水平以下的50%。虽然该国的碳足迹总量自2016年以来已小幅减少,但迄今为止,它还无法实现较小的碳减排目标。

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Australia—411 Million Tons

power station
Loy Yang Coal Power Station, Traralgon, Victoria, Australia. John W Banagan / Getty Images

人均:16.88 Tons per person

Australia's land size is similar to that of the United States, though it has about one-tenth the population of the U.S. Both countries are in the top 10 per-capita carbon contributors. Australiaburns coal, oil, and gas尽管自2008年以来,煤炭的排放量一直在下降,天然气的排放量一直在上升,但这些排放主要来自发电,其次是农业和交通运输。亚博彩票买lol

As part of its Paris Agreement commitment, Australia has stated it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030.There are several strategies to accomplish this, including improving the fuel efficiency of the country's cars, substantially increasing renewable energy—especially solar power—, and increasing the energy efficiency of existing appliances. A carbon tax that had been in place was removed in 2014, and since then Australia's carbon emissions have flatlined after a decade of decline.