CO2 emissions through combustion in power plants

Greenhouse gases emissions by country

The release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are the main causes of the greenhouse effect. Due to increasing industrialization, greenhouse gases are being uncontrollably released in many countries. The human being is the biggest factor that disturbs the balance of the earth.

The following table shows the largest producers of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. The USA ranks 12th in terms of per capita consumption in the list of 104 countries. Here alone, each inhabitant produces 15.03 tonnes of CO2 and 1.9 tonnes of methane.

Ranking of countries by greenhouse gas emissions

The country ranking covers 104 countries and their emissions of CO2 and methane. Click on the country name to get more information about the energy balance of the respective country.

It is striking that among the largest polluters - in terms of emissions per inhabitant - are many wealthy countries of the Near East. The proportion per inhabitant is particularly high here, as large quantities of greenhouse gases are released in the extraction of natural gas and crude oil as well as in operating refineries. You can read how temperatures have changed worldwide in recent decades in our analysis of temperature increases by continent.

    CO2   Methane
(in CO2 equivalents)
(in CO2 equivalents)
Country Totalper capita Totalper capita Totalper capita
Brunei7.14 m t16.32 t8.83 m t20.18 t15.97 m t36.50 t
Qatar90.17 m t31.30 t8.11 m t2.81 t98.28 m t34.11 t
Bahrain30.75 m t18.07 t14.85 m t8.73 t45.60 m t26.80 t
United Arab Emirates200.30 m t20.25 t52.96 m t5.35 t253.26 m t25.61 t
Kuwait89.46 m t20.95 t6.08 m t1.42 t95.54 m t22.37 t
Grenada300,000.00 t2.67 t2.03 m t18.04 t2.33 m t20.71 t
Australia386.62 m t15.05 t139.07 m t5.41 t525.69 m t20.46 t
New Caledonia5.33 m t19.59 t214,726.32 t0.79 t5.54 m t20.38 t
Turkmenistan71.73 m t11.89 t49.58 m t8.22 t121.31 m t20.11 t
Canada574.40 m t15.10 t93.98 m t2.47 t668.38 m t17.57 t
Russia1.61 bn t11.16 t849.57 m t5.90 t2.46 bn t17.05 t
United States4.98 bn t15.03 t622.59 m t1.88 t5.60 bn t16.90 t
Saudi Arabia514.60 m t14.78 t44.17 m t1.27 t558.77 m t16.05 t
Luxembourg9.32 m t14.78 t540,000.00 t0.86 t9.86 m t15.64 t
Equatorial Guinea6.67 m t4.75 t12.23 m t8.72 t18.90 m t13.47 t
New Zealand32.21 m t6.34 t32.53 m t6.40 t64.74 m t12.73 t
South Korea630.87 m t12.17 t25.53 m t0.49 t656.40 m t12.66 t
Mongolia21.32 m t6.50 t17.86 m t5.45 t39.18 m t11.95 t
Ireland37.11 m t7.44 t16.82 m t3.37 t53.93 m t10.82 t
Czechia102.48 m t9.58 t12.43 m t1.16 t114.91 m t10.74 t
Bermuda612,389.00 t9.58 t30,959.96 t0.48 t643,348.96 t10.07 t
Netherlands151.17 m t8.67 t17.26 m t0.99 t168.43 m t9.66 t
Poland312.74 m t8.25 t47.54 m t1.25 t360.28 m t9.51 t
Iran629.29 m t7.49 t149.69 m t1.78 t778.98 m t9.27 t
Germany709.54 m t8.53 t53.37 m t0.64 t762.91 m t9.17 t
Singapore47.36 m t8.33 t4.15 m t0.73 t51.51 m t9.06 t
Japan1.11 bn t8.79 t21.11 m t0.17 t1.13 bn t8.96 t
Malaysia239.62 m t7.40 t46.58 m t1.44 t286.20 m t8.84 t
Belgium93.47 m t8.10 t8.20 m t0.71 t101.67 m t8.81 t
Finland44.36 m t8.02 t4.24 m t0.77 t48.60 m t8.79 t
Cayman Islands546,383.00 t8.31 t28,722.79 t0.44 t575,105.79 t8.75 t
Serbia45.54 m t6.60 t12.40 m t1.80 t57.94 m t8.40 t
China10.31 bn t7.31 t1.24 bn t0.88 t11.55 bn t8.19 t
South Africa433.25 m t7.31 t45.14 m t0.76 t478.39 m t8.07 t
Israel61.97 m t6.72 t12.07 m t1.31 t74.04 m t8.03 t
Norway37.35 m t6.94 t4.85 m t0.90 t42.20 m t7.84 t
Austria63.18 m t7.09 t6.66 m t0.75 t69.84 m t7.83 t
Iceland2.20 m t6.00 t530,000.00 t1.45 t2.73 m t7.45 t
Venezuela138.16 m t4.86 t72.34 m t2.54 t210.50 m t7.40 t
Greece65.29 m t6.10 t9.67 m t0.90 t74.96 m t7.01 t
Denmark33.38 m t5.72 t7.14 m t1.22 t40.52 m t6.95 t
Bulgaria41.13 m t5.93 t6.91 m t1.00 t48.04 m t6.93 t
Argentina177.41 m t3.91 t117.85 m t2.60 t295.26 m t6.51 t
Spain258.34 m t5.45 t39.94 m t0.84 t298.28 m t6.30 t
Hong Kong43.64 m t5.83 t3.15 m t0.42 t46.79 m t6.25 t
Italy324.85 m t5.46 t43.67 m t0.73 t368.52 m t6.20 t
United Kingdom358.80 m t5.34 t51.21 m t0.76 t410.01 m t6.10 t
Portugal49.78 m t4.83 t11.32 m t1.10 t61.10 m t5.93 t
Ukraine185.37 m t4.20 t62.95 m t1.43 t248.32 m t5.63 t
Hungary46.39 m t4.76 t7.12 m t0.73 t53.51 m t5.49 t
France309.96 m t4.60 t58.34 m t0.87 t368.30 m t5.47 t
Turkey412.97 m t4.90 t47.40 m t0.56 t460.37 m t5.46 t
Montenegro2.52 m t4.06 t820,000.00 t1.32 t3.34 m t5.38 t
Chile86.62 m t4.53 t13.48 m t0.71 t100.10 m t5.24 t
Romania74.88 m t3.89 t23.78 m t1.23 t98.66 m t5.12 t
Croatia16.58 m t4.10 t3.82 m t0.94 t20.40 m t5.04 t
Thailand257.86 m t3.69 t84.14 m t1.21 t342.00 m t4.90 t
Switzerland37.48 m t4.34 t4.79 m t0.55 t42.27 m t4.89 t
Central Africa330,000.00 t0.07 t23.20 m t4.80 t23.53 m t4.87 t
Mauritius4.13 m t3.26 t1.93 m t1.52 t6.06 m t4.79 t
Mexico472.14 m t3.66 t144.61 m t1.12 t616.75 m t4.78 t
North Macedonia7.37 m t3.56 t2.52 m t1.22 t9.89 m t4.77 t
Algeria151.67 m t3.46 t49.55 m t1.13 t201.22 m t4.59 t
Timor-Leste640,000.00 t0.49 t5.28 m t4.00 t5.92 m t4.49 t
Bolivia22.71 m t1.95 t25.05 m t2.15 t47.76 m t4.09 t
Brazil427.71 m t2.01 t416.28 m t1.96 t843.99 m t3.97 t
Georgia9.46 m t2.54 t5.21 m t1.40 t14.67 m t3.94 t
Sweden36.00 m t3.48 t4.58 m t0.44 t40.58 m t3.92 t
Laos18.79 m t2.58 t7.61 m t1.05 t26.40 m t3.63 t
Vietnam257.86 m t2.65 t87.75 m t0.90 t345.61 m t3.55 t
Macao2.07 m t3.19 t150,575.46 t0.23 t2.22 m t3.42 t
Ecuador39.53 m t2.24 t20.35 m t1.15 t59.88 m t3.39 t
Chad1.07 m t0.07 t53.99 m t3.29 t55.06 m t3.35 t
Indonesia583.11 m t2.13 t287.50 m t1.05 t870.61 m t3.18 t
Albania5.56 m t1.96 t3.16 m t1.11 t8.72 m t3.07 t
Colombia79.49 m t1.56 t76.70 m t1.51 t156.19 m t3.07 t
Egypt246.26 m t2.41 t56.87 m t0.56 t303.13 m t2.96 t
Fiji1.90 m t2.12 t670,000.00 t0.75 t2.57 m t2.87 t
Costa Rica8.26 m t1.62 t4.82 m t0.95 t13.08 m t2.57 t
Morocco66.68 m t1.81 t17.67 m t0.48 t84.35 m t2.29 t
Afghanistan7.44 m t0.19 t81.51 m t2.09 t88.95 m t2.28 t
India2.43 bn t1.76 t666.51 m t0.48 t3.10 bn t2.25 t
Philippines142.24 m t1.30 t67.66 m t0.62 t209.90 m t1.92 t
Cambodia11.16 m t0.67 t20.31 m t1.21 t31.47 m t1.88 t
Burma32.52 m t0.60 t65.79 m t1.21 t98.31 m t1.81 t
Sudan20.20 m t0.46 t58.85 m t1.34 t79.05 m t1.80 t
El Salvador6.81 m t1.05 t3.99 m t0.62 t10.80 m t1.67 t
Pakistan208.37 m t0.94 t151.02 m t0.68 t359.39 m t1.63 t
Zimbabwe12.27 m t0.83 t11.85 m t0.80 t24.12 m t1.62 t
Nepal12.03 m t0.41 t30.80 m t1.06 t42.83 m t1.47 t
Sri Lanka21.63 m t0.99 t10.03 m t0.46 t31.66 m t1.44 t
North Korea18.12 m t0.70 t18.71 m t0.73 t36.83 m t1.43 t
Nigeria130.67 m t0.63 t127.90 m t0.62 t258.57 m t1.25 t
Senegal9.86 m t0.59 t10.75 m t0.64 t20.61 m t1.23 t
Ghana16.11 m t0.52 t21.35 m t0.69 t37.46 m t1.21 t
Kenya18.40 m t0.34 t40.25 m t0.75 t58.65 m t1.09 t
Ethiopia16.28 m t0.14 t103.11 m t0.90 t119.39 m t1.04 t
Bangladesh82.76 m t0.50 t83.79 m t0.51 t166.55 m t1.01 t
Cameroon8.62 m t0.32 t14.96 m t0.56 t23.58 m t0.89 t
Haiti3.33 m t0.29 t4.73 m t0.41 t8.06 m t0.71 t
Ivory Coast9.91 m t0.38 t6.56 m t0.25 t16.47 m t0.62 t
Congo (Dem. Republic)2.20 m t0.02 t38.62 m t0.43 t40.82 m t0.46 t
Rwanda1.08 m t0.08 t2.91 m t0.22 t3.99 m t0.31 t
Burundi590,000.00 t0.05 t2.14 m t0.18 t2.73 m t0.23 t

What are greenhouse gases?

Climate change is promoted by so-called greenhouse gasesgreenhouse gases. These are mainly methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Both gases occur in nature and protect the earth from too much heat being released into space via the earth's atmosphere.

If these gases did not exist, we would have an average global temperature of around -20°C. This would mean that the Earth's atmosphere would not be able to absorb them. But if we have too much of these gases, too little heat energy is dissipated into space and the earth heats up. This may not sound drastic at first, but it disturbs many interdependent climatic conditions:

CO2 emissions through combustion in power plants If it gets warmer all over the world, deserts will become drier and permafrost areas like Antarctica will melt. Climatic conditions and ocean currents are changing, destroying habitats. Additional meltwater and changing climatic conditions cause sea levels to rise.

Temperature rise is a chain reaction

It is often argued that these changes belong to nature and have been on Earth for millions of years. Where habitats change, life changes and new habitats are created elsewhere. This is correct in its approach, but it ignores the fact that an increase in temperatures also causes chain reactions.

In the Arctic and Antarctic ice, for example, considerable amounts of CO2 are bound, which would be released during melting. Cold water can also bind more CO2 than warmer water. If the general water temperature of the oceans rises, the CO2 previously bound in the water would also escape into the atmosphere. This results in a chain reaction, which makes it even warmer in even shorter time due to the additional CO2 and would release even more greenhouse gases.

Other greenhouse gases, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, destroy the ozone layer, which in turn shields the majority of solar radiation. If part of this shield is missing, the sun will heat the earth's surface even more than before.

CO2: Carbon Dioxide

The proportion of the most important greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (chemical formula: CO2) in our atmosphere has increased by about 40% since the beginning of industrialization alone. The trend of the last few years is particularly worrying. CO2 is mainly produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and crude oil. This also applies to the combustion of their products such as diesel or petrol. CO2 is originally a natural component of air. The additional CO2 released by humans in large quantities is absorbed by the air and the oceans, resulting in air pollution and acidification of the oceans.

Development of global CO2 emissions in billion tons

Development of CO2 emissions

Of the 34.04 bn billion tonnes of CO2 produced by humans worldwide in 2018, around 42% was generated by fossil fuels such as coal. A further 31% was accounted for by the combustion of liquid fuels such as petrol, diesel and kerosene. In contrast, the share of energy generation through the consumption of gaseous energy sources such as natural gas was only 21%.

CH4: Methane

In addition to carbon dioxide, methane (chemical formula: CH4) is also a greenhouse gas. It is rarer than CO2, but has a 33 times higher effect. It is assumed that about 20% of the greenhouse effect is due to methane. The release of methane is also largely attributable to humans. It is mainly produced in agriculture and forestry, in mass livestock farming and in sewage treatment plants and landfills.

People often smile at the fact that cows produce large amounts of methane during digestion and that this gas is blown naturally (front or back) into the environment. If cow dung is used as fertilizer on the fields, this is also the case. The German Farmers' Association states that the production of one litre of milk releases CO2 equivalents of approx. 1.1 kg. However, these values are several times higher in Asia and Africa.

Development of global methane emissions in billions of tons
(Data in CO2 equivalents)

Development of methane emissions

Of the 8.17 bn tons of methane released worldwide in 2018, 39 percent was from energy production and 43 percent from agriculture, which mainly consists of factory farming and the use of fertilizers.

Data Sources

Collecting these values for all countries in the world is extremely complicated and lengthy. There are no central reporting points, so the data must be calculated from other sources such as coal-fired power plants or oil company sales. This is not only tedious, but can only be done with great delays. The above data for CO2 values come from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center and in most cases represent the year 2018. The methane emission data are almost entirely for 2018 and comes from the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR), a programme of the European Commission. More recent data will be published here as they become available.