In our ongoing coverage about how climate change is affecting us and how people in the U.S. are taking action, today we bring you a couple of graphics and statistics to show just who’s emitting carbon. Thanks to the New York Times for the visuals. And if you’re interested in carbon emissions per capita, make your way over to this useful Google guide, made with World Bank data, that you can easily search by country, and compare statistics.
The U.S. – 20% of emissions, 30% of G.D.P. 5% of people.
Per capita, the U.S. emits 19.5 metric tons of CO2. The world average? 4.5.
European Union – 15% of emissions, 25% of G.D.P., 8% of people
Annex 1 countries – 51% of emissions, 75% of GDP, 19% of people
These are the developed countries required under the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 to reduce emissions. If you remember, the U.S. refused to ratify the treaty.
Small island states -1% of emissions, 1% of GDP, 1% of people
Although these places are responsible for a very little percentage of carbon emissions, the 39-member Association of Small Island States is perhaps the most at risk because of climate change. With just minor rises in sea levels, provoked by climate change, many of the islands would become uninhabitable.
No matter what numbers you look at, it’s clear that we’re ALL affected by climate change, necessitating a progressive plan of action.