Top CO2 polluters and highest per capita

The biggest absolute emissions come from China, and the United States. In terms of CO2 emissions per capita, China is ranked only ranked 55th, at 6.2 metric tonnes per capita. The US is 8th at 17.6 per capita. India is the third highest country in terms of absolute emissions, but 127th in terms of per capita output with 1.7 metric tonnes per capita.

Why don’t countries use the carbon tax?

  • Taxes are generally politically unpopular. A tax on carbon emissions will affect the living costs of many people. This can make the government reluctant to impose the tax.
  • There is also the free rider problem. A small country may think – what is the point in introducing carbon tax when their CO2 emissions are dwarfed by other countries like China and the US? Especially, when these bigger countries don’t seem inclined to do too much about the issue.
  • There is also differing opinions about the potential cost of CO2 emissions to the environment. In the US, there is a strong lobby which argues global warming is not scientifically proven. Therefore, there is a resistance to impeded CO2 emissions.
  • Another factor is that there are significant vested interests in the oil industry / other industries which pollute. They fear CO2 tax will reduce their profitability so they are willing to fight against moves to introduce taxes.
  • Another argument used is that a Carbon tax will harm jobs.
  • Arguments for and against Carbon Tax.

Highest CO2 emissions by country

List of countries by 2010 emissions

Country

Annual CO2 emissions

 

Thousands of tonnes

 % of world

1. China

8,286,892

26.43%

2.  United States

5,433,057

17.33%

 3. EU (27)

3,688,880

13.33%

 4. India

2,008,823

6.41%

 5. Russia

1,740,776

5.55%

 6. Japan

1,170,715

3.73%

 7. Germany

745,384

2.38%

 8. Iran

571,612

1.82%

 9. South Korea

567,567

1.81%

 10. Canada

499,137

1.59%

 11. United Kingdom

493,505

1.57%

 12. Saudi Arabia

464,481

1.48%

 13. South Africa

460,124

1.47%

 14. Mexico

443,674

1.42%

 15. Indonesia

433,989

1.38%

 16. Brazil

419,754

1.34%

 17. Italy

406,307

1.30%

 18. Australia

373,081

1.19%

 19. France

361,273

1.15%

 20. Poland

317,254

1.01%

Top CO2 emissions Per Capita

(metric tons per capita)

Country Name

2010

1

Qatar

40.3

2

Trinidad and Tobago

38.2

3

Kuwait

31.3

4

Luxembourg

21.4

5

Oman

20.4

6

United Arab Emirates

19.9

7

Bahrain

19.3

8

United States

17.6

9

Saudi Arabia

17.0

10

Australia

16.9

11

Kazakhstan

15.2

12

Canada

14.6

13

Estonia

13.7

14

Russian Federation

12.2

15

Norway

11.7

16

Finland

11.5

17

Korea, Rep.

11.5

18

Netherlands

11.0

19

Czech Republic

10.6

20

Turkmenistan

10.5

21

OECD members

10.1

22

Belgium

10.0

23

Libya

9.8

24

Israel

9.3

25

South Africa

9.2

26

Japan

9.2

27

Germany

9.1

28

Ireland

8.9

29

Denmark

8.3

30

Poland

8.3

31

Bosnia and Herzegovina

8.1

32

Austria

8.0

33

United Kingdom

7.9

35

Iran, Islamic Rep.

7.7

36

Greece

7.7

37

Malaysia

7.7

38

Europe & Central Asia (all income levels)

7.6

39

Slovenia

7.5

40

Euro area

7.4

Selected others

  • 55. China 6.2
  • 127 India 1.7

Lowest CO2 emissions per Capita

By comparison some of the poorest countries produce practically zero CO2 emissions per capital

Madagascar

0.096

Eritrea

0.089

Niger

0.089

Malawi

0.083

Ethiopia

0.075

Somalia

0.063

Central African Republic

0.061

Rwanda

0.055

Congo, Dem. Rep.

0.049

Mali

0.045

Chad

0.040

Burundi

0.033

Lesotho

0.009

 

Written by Tejvan Pettinger
Originally published by Economicshelp.org

25 March 2014

  • author's avatar

    By: ONE Team

    ONE’s ambition is to remain unbiased and to provide a good selection of the most interesting articles about climate change, new technologies, policies and strategies in the energy field. The rest is written by ourselves.

  • author's avatar

    Visit the author’s website

Be the first to comment on "Top CO2 polluters and highest per capita"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.