Each Country's Share of CO2 Emissions

Published Jul 16, 2008 Updated Oct 10, 2019

A pie chart of top CO2 producing nations

The world’s countries emit vastly different amounts of heat-trapping  gases into the atmosphere. The chart above and table below both show data compiled by the International Energy Agency, which estimates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the combustion of coal, natural gas, oil, and other fuels, including industrial waste and non-renewable municipal waste. 

Here we rank the top 20 highest emitters of cumulative carbon dioxide in 2016 (the most recent available data).

The 20 countries that emitted the most carbon dioxide in 2016

Rank Country CO2 emissions (total)
1 China 9056.8MT
2 United States 4833.1MT
3 India 2076.8MT
4 Russian Federation 1438.6MT
5 Japan 1147.1MT
6 Germany 731.6MT
7 South Korea 589.2MT
8 Islamic Republic of Iran 563.4MT
9 Canada 540.8MT
10 Saudi Arabia 527.2MT
11 Indonesia 454.9MT
12 Mexico 445.5MT
13 Brazil 416.7MT
14 South Africa 414.4MT
15 Australia 392.4MT
16 United Kingdom 371.1MT
17 Turkey 338.8MT
18 Italy 325.7MT
19 Poland 293.1MT
20 France 292.9MT
All emissions from 2016. Fuel combustion only. MT = Metric megatons. T = Metric tons

The rankings change when we account for the population of each country (ie, per capita emissions).

2016 rankings by per capita emissions

Rank Country CO2 emissions (per capita)
1 Saudi Arabia 16.3T
2 Australia 16.2T
3 United States 15.0T
4 Canada 14.9T
5 South Korea 11.6T
6 Russian Federation 9.9T
7 Japan 9.0T
8 Germany 8.9T
9 Poland 7.7T
10 South Africa 7.4T
11 Islamic Republic of Iran 7.1T
12 China 6.4T
13 United Kingdom 5.6T
14 Italy 5.4T
15 France 4.5T
16 Turkey 4.2T
17 Mexico 3.6T
18 Brazil 2.0T
19 Indonesia 1.7T
20 India 1.6T
All emissions from 2016. Fuel combustion only. MT = Metric megatons. T = Metric tons

The picture that emerges from these figures is one where—in general—developed countries and major emerging economy nations lead in total carbon dioxide emissions.

However, developed nations typically have high carbon dioxide emissions per capita, while some developing countries lead in the growth rate of carbon dioxide emissions. These uneven contributions to the climate crisis are at the core of the challenges the world community faces in finding effective and equitable solutions to global warming.

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