Carbon Emissions by Country, 1965-2020

Carbon Emissions by Country, 1965-2020

Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Note: Data for USSR before 1985.

While global carbon emissions have increased, they appear to be close to their peak. Further, the composition of the largest emitters has evolved, with a growing share of developing economies. There is thus a divergence between developed economies where carbon emissions are on the decline and developing economies where there are rising. Economic cycles have an impact on emissions that usually decline during recessions (e.g. 2008-2009). The Covid-19 pandemic was also associated with a notable decline as mobility and travel declined. While the United States accounted for 23.1% of global CO2 emissions in 1990, this share declined to 13.8% in 2020. For China, its share went from 10.8% in 1990 to 30.7% in 2020, the outcome of a massive wave of industrialization, economic development, and coal-based electricity generation.