Global inequalities in CO₂ emissions

Read the full post at Our World in Data.

There are two parameters that determine our collective carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions: the number of people, and quantity emitted per person. We either talk about total annual or per capita emissions. They tell very different stories and this often results in confrontation over who can really make an impact: rich countries with high per capita emissions, or those with a large population.

To help us understand the global distribution of per capita emissions and population, we have visualized global CO2emissions below by (1) World Bank income group and (2) by world region.

The world’s total CO2-emissions1 are shown on the basis of two axes: the height of the bar (y-axis) is the average per capita CO2 emissions and the length of the box (x-axis) is the total population. Since total emissions are equal to per capita emissions multiplied by the number of people, the area of each box represents total emissions.2

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