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How many tonnes of CO2 are emitted globally on average?

A person produces on average 4.5 tonnes of CO2 per year. But what exactly does it mean to cause one tonne of CO2 and what can be understood by it? myclimate has drawn up a comparison.

Human activities cause over 50 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually, strengthening the greenhouse effect and so driving climate change. To better understand this huge quantity, myclimate has carried out some calculations for a single tonne of CO2.


One tonne of CO2 is equivalent to...

  • 3 300 kilometres with a petrol car
  • a flight from Frankfurt to New York
  • 8 800 cups of coffee
  • a balloon with a diameter of nine metres and a volume of around 380 m3


Every year, an average of 4.5 such balloons are used per person on earth. Each person therefore produces around 4.5 tonnes of  CO2 equivalents per year (including grey emissions).

Annual CO₂ emissions: Our world in data



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