Saturday, November 11, 2017

Which country has reduced CO2 emissions the most?

Whether you measure by this century, or the last decade, the answer is the United States.  The article about this is here, and the two charts below vividly demonstrate the data.

1 comment:

murrayzz1 said...

What's odd about these graphs is that the US appears to have reduced more in the last 10 years than in the whole century - nearly 800 million tonnes in the last decade vs only 600 million in the whole century.

So the graphs are wrong.

Also, these reductions should be represented *per capita*. As Hans Rosling pointed out, comparing CO2 emissions for whole populations is like saying China has a worse obesity problem than the USA because the total bodyweight of the Chinese population is greater than the total bodyweight of the US population. By analogy these graphs are like awarding a weight loss medal to the USA because everyone lost a couple of pounds when people in some other nations lost a stone.

Despite these reductions, the USA still has the second highest level of CO2 emissions in the world, and the third highest emissions per capita after the UAE and Australia, and has the highest level of total emissions and emissions per capita since 1970.

Returning to the obesity analogy, the fattest person has the most weight to lose. So let's not get too congratulatory about US emissions reductions - there is still a long way to go, and if you look at the most recent figures, emissions reductions in the USA have slowed almost to a standstill.

With a president in the White House ripping up climate change agreements and championing fossil fuels, that's hardly likely to improve any time soon.