Who produces CO₂?

Around 84% of all anthropogenic (man-made) CO₂ emissions are created in electricity and heat production, agriculture, industry and transport.

In 2016, China was by far the biggest producer of CO₂  with about 10 billion tons. Behind China were the USA with approx. 5.3 billion tons of CO₂, the EU with approx. 3.5 billion and India with approx. 2.4 billion. Germany holds 6th place with 0.8 billion tons of CO₂ for the year 2016. Switzerland holds 71st place with 38 million tons of CO₂ per year.

However, in addition to the cumulative emission quantity, there is also the possibility of linking emissions to the number of inhabitants. With 48 tons of CO₂per capita, Qatar is at the top of the list. Germany's per capita emissions in 2016 were around 9.8 tonnes per inhabitant. Switzerland generates approx. 5 tons of CO₂ emissions per capita. To provide a comparison, the 2014 IPCC report suggests emissions of 1 to 2 metric tons of CO₂ per capita per year if climate change is to be brought under control at least to a certain extent. Other modes of measurement can produce different national average CO₂ emissions, however. For instance, CO₂ emissions caused by imported goods are often not included. 

Sources: Global Carbon Atlas 2017; IPCC 2014 Assessment Report 5; IPCC 2014 Synthesis Report

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