Global Carbon Emissions: Country-by-Country for 2023

by | Nov 11, 2023 | Climate Crisis, Environmental News

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As the clock ticks on the climate crisis, the carbon footprint of nations has come under intense scrutiny. In 2023, the tale of global carbon emissions is a mosaic of national pledges, industrial legacies, and emerging challenges, with global carbon emissions acting as a crucial barometer. This comprehensive look at each country’s carbon emissions isn’t just about numbers; it’s a narrative of our collective journey towards a low-carbon future. From industrial powerhouses grappling with transformative energy policies to smaller nations pioneering green innovations, we unpack the global tapestry of emissions that shapes our shared atmosphere and climate destiny.

Scenario of Global Carbon Emissions in 2021

Global carbon emissions hit 36.8 billion metric tons in 2021, primarily driven by significant contributors like China, the US, India, Russia, and Indonesia. The power and heat generation sector leads, contributing 40%, followed by industry (31%), transportation (24%), and buildings (6%). Although historically increasing at 2.1% annually, recent years have shown a slowdown due to a shift towards renewable energy, with a notable exception in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Achieving sustained reduction requires a comprehensive international commitment, emphasizing the need for cleaner technologies. Key emission sectors include electricity and heat production, construction, industry, and transportation, with buildings heavily relying on fossil fuels despite a minor contribution.

Country-by-Country Breakdown of Global Carbon Emissions for 2023

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) estimates that global carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes will be 34.4 billion metric tons in 2023. This is slightly higher than the 34.2 billion metric tons emitted in 2022.

The top five emitters of carbon dioxide in 2023 are the same as in 2022: China, the United States, India, Russia, and Brazil. Together, these five countries account for more than half of global carbon emissions.

China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, accounting for 32% of global emissions in 2023. The United States is the second-largest emitter, accounting for 14% of global emissions. India is the third-largest emitter, accounting for 9% of global emissions.

Global Carbon Emissions for 2023

In 2023, the global carbon emissions landscape unfolds with distinctive profiles for key nations, revealing their contributions to the ongoing challenge of climate change. This detailed examination compares key nations’ territorial and consumption-based carbon emissions, revealing nuanced insights into their production and consumption dynamics.

1. China

Territorial Emissions (11.0 GtCO2): As the world’s largest emitter, China’s territorial emissions primarily stem from its robust electricity and heat production, industry, and transportation sectors.

Consumption-based Emissions (12.5 GtCO2): The higher consumption-based emissions suggest that China is a major global supplier, producing goods and services that contribute significantly to the carbon footprints of other countries.

2. United States

Territorial Emissions (5.0 GtCO2): The U.S. contributes substantially to territorial emissions through electricity and heat production, transportation, and industry.

Consumption-based Emissions (6.5 GtCO2): Higher consumption-based emissions reveal the U.S.’s reliance on imported goods and services with significant carbon footprints.

3. India

Territorial Emissions (3.3 GtCO2): India’s territorial emissions are driven by its electricity and heat production, industry, and agriculture sectors.

Consumption-based Emissions (2.8 GtCO2): The lower consumption-based emissions indicate that India plays a role as a net exporter of emissions-intensive products.

4. Russia

Territorial Emissions (2.0 GtCO2): Russia’s emissions predominantly arise from electricity, heat production, industry, and transportation.

Consumption-based Emissions (2.2 GtCO2): Slightly higher consumption-based emissions suggest Russia’s role as a producer and consumer of emissions-intensive products.

5. Indonesia

Territorial Emissions (2.0 GtCO2): Indonesia’s emissions are driven by electricity and heat production, deforestation, and agriculture.

Consumption-based Emissions (2.1 GtCO2): Slightly higher consumption-based emissions indicate Indonesia’s dual role as both a source and consumer of emissions-intensive goods.

6. Brazil

Territorial Emissions (1.9 GtCO2): Brazil’s emissions are distributed across electricity, heat production, industry, and deforestation.

Consumption-based Emissions (2.0 GtCO2): Close alignment between territorial and consumption-based emissions suggests a relatively balanced contribution to production and consumption-related emissions.

7. EU27

Territorial Emissions (1.7 GtCO2): The EU27’s emissions primarily arise from electricity, heat production, industry, and transportation.

Consumption-based Emissions (1.8 GtCO2): High consumption-based emissions indicate the EU27’s role as a net importer of emissions-intensive goods.

8. Japan

Territorial Emissions (1.2 GtCO2): Electric and heat production, transportation, and industry drive Japan’s emissions.

Consumption-based Emissions (1.3 GtCO2): High consumption-based emissions suggest Japan’s role as a net importer of emissions-intensive products.

9. Germany

Territorial Emissions (0.75 GtCO2): Germany’s emissions primarily stem from electricity, heat production, industry, and transportation.

Consumption-based Emissions (0.8 GtCO2): A relatively small difference between territorial and consumption-based emissions indicates a balanced contribution to production and consumption-related emissions.

10. South Korea

Territorial Emissions (0.65 GtCO2): South Korea’s emissions arise from electricity and heat production, industry, and transportation.

Consumption-based Emissions (0.7 GtCO2): Slightly higher consumption-based emissions suggest South Korea’s role as both a source and consumer of emissions-intensive goods.

11. Canada

Territorial Emissions (0.6 GtCO2): Canada’s emissions primarily come from electricity, heat production, transportation, and industry.

Consumption-based Emissions (0.65 GtCO2): A slight difference between territorial and consumption-based emissions indicates a relatively balanced contribution to production and consumption-related emissions.

The intricate relationship between territorial and consumption-based emissions underscores the need for a global perspective when addressing climate change. The disparities highlight the importance of considering both production and consumption patterns to devise effective strategies for mitigating the global impact of carbon emissions.

What is the role of the Countries in Reducing Global Carbon Emissions?

Reducing global carbon emissions is a shared responsibility involving developed and developing countries. Key players, such as China, India, and the United States, have a crucial role, requiring aggressive actions domestically and through international collaboration.

Reducing Global Carbon Emissions

The challenge of reducing global carbon emissions requires a multifaceted approach. Every country, irrespective of its current emission levels, holds a distinct role in this collective effort. Through concerted actions, shared responsibilities, and international cooperation, nations can work together to address climate change and create a sustainable, low-carbon future.

Also Read: Carbon Pollution Standards: EPA’S Key To Cut Emissions

The Challenges and Opportunities That Developing Countries Face in Reducing Their Emissions

Developing countries need more resources and economic priorities to reduce carbon emissions. However, their proactive adoption of innovative technologies and commitment to sustainable practices, supported by international cooperation, showcases significant progress in the global fight against climate change.

1. Challenges Faces by Developing Countries

Developing countries grapple with multifaceted challenges, from limited resources hindering clean energy adoption to infrastructure gaps impeding effective climate policies.

  • Poverty: Limited resources hinder clean energy investments, limiting the adoption of emission reduction measures.
  • Economic Development: Growth focus may resist policies hindering development.
  • Fossil Fuel Dependence: Heavy reliance on fossil fuels complicates the transition to cleaner sources.
  • Lack of Infrastructure: Inadequate infrastructure impedes renewable energy integration.
  • Capacity Constraints: Technical expertise limits effective climate change policy implementation.

Despite these hurdles, the resilience and determination of developing nations in addressing these challenges underscore their significant role in the global effort to combat climate change.

2. Opportunities for Developing Countries

Amidst challenges, developing countries find ample opportunities to combat climate change, leveraging advancements in clean energy technologies, abundant renewable resources, and sustainable development practices.

  • Leapfrogging Technologies: Adopting advanced clean energy in developing nations.
  • Renewable Energy Potential: Harnessing solar and wind for sustainable power.
  • Energy Efficiency: Enhancing efficiency for substantial energy savings.
  • Sustainable Development: Integrating climate goals into development strategies.
  • International Cooperation: Collaborating with developed nations for effective emission reduction.

Despite obstacles, these opportunities empower developing nations to make significant strides in reducing carbon emissions, contributing meaningfully to the global mission of building a sustainable and resilient future.

3. Responsibility of Developed Countries

Developed nations hold a crucial responsibility in the global effort against climate change by supporting and enabling developing countries in their endeavors to cut emissions.

  • Financial Support: Aiding budget constraints for emission reduction in developing nations.
  • Technology Transfer: Facilitating clean energy tech transfer for advanced solutions in developing countries.
  • Capacity Building: Enhancing technical and institutional capacity for effective climate policies.
  • Global Policy Alignment: Ensuring adherence to international emission reduction policies for sustainable development in developing nations.

Acknowledging and fulfilling this responsibility is imperative for fostering international collaboration and ensuring equitable progress in addressing climate change.

Also Read: Decarbonization In Public Sector

Conclusion

The data-driven exploration of global carbon emissions in 2023 underscores the pressing need for coordinated and immediate action. While some nations lead in sustainable practices, others face significant challenges in curbing emissions. The intricate interplay of economic, political, and environmental factors emphasizes the necessity of a unified global response. As the world strives to meet climate goals and avert ecological crises, it is evident that collaboration and innovation must prevail. The findings underscore the shared responsibility in mitigating climate change, urging policymakers, industries, and citizens alike to commit to a sustainable and resilient future for future generations.

Also Read: EU To Slash Greenhouse Gas Emissions Up To 95% By 2040

 

Author

  • Dr. Emily Greenfield

    Dr. Emily Greenfield is a highly accomplished environmentalist with over 30 years of experience in writing, reviewing, and publishing content on various environmental topics. Hailing from the United States, she has dedicated her career to raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices.

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1 Comment

  1. Jean-Olivier CUINET

    Quand on voit que l’UE émet moins de 5% des émissions mondiales de CO2 d’après votre graphique “camembert” , il n’y a pas grande urgence à vouloir réduire précipitamment nos émissions de CO2 comme le suggère les ayatollahs du climat. Faisons le dans le calme et la réflexion. Nous avons de grandes ressources potentielles dans l’éolien, voire dans le photovoltaïque et aussi dans le nucléaire pour remplacer nos “vieilles” centrales nucléaires actuelles.

    Par contre pour ce qui concerne les deux plus gros émetteurs de CO2 asiatiques, la Chine et l’inde, je n’ai presque pas entendu de voix s’élever pour dire qu’ils polluent trop, qu’ils vont à eux seuls “griller” notre planète à assez court terme.

    La Chine a besoin de beaucoup d’énergie électrique pour faire tourner les usines qui produisent nos biens de consommation courante que nous avons grand plaisir à leur acheter, mais cette électricité est produite en assez grande partie par des usines électriques consommant du charbon et donc polluantes, La Chine se permet même de construire à tour de bras de nouvelles usines électriques à charbon pour éviter la pénurie d’électricité de 2022.

    Mais “chut”, continuons de consommer leurs produits à bas coût, mais le jour viendra, plus tôt que prévu, où la terre ne pourra plus subir nos excès de réchauffement climatique et la vie sur terre sera menacée.

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