A visual breakdown of emissions by country and industry.
The United Nations' Paris climate talks are less than six months away, and have been widely described as our best chance for an international agreement to curb the effects of global climate change. In order to reach that goal, we need to know who and where are the biggest emitters.
The World Resources Institute (WRI) has built an open-source database to provide individuals, companies and governments with reliable data about climate change, called the CAIT Climate Data Explorer. If you’ve ever wished you could visualize all global emissions at once, WRI has just the tool, built from CAIT data. This interactive infographic takes a look at the world’s biggest emitters by country, along with the top emissions sources within each country, based on just-released information from 2012.
One thing that becomes overwhelmingly clear from this graphic is that the energy sector is the biggest source of emissions globally. The graphic paints a picture of how that looks for each country. China’s emissions for energy alone make up nearly 20 percent of total global discharge of greenhouse gases. In order avoid the worst impacts of climate change, transforming the energy sector should be a top priority.
As for the run-up to the Paris talks, the participating countries have agreed to publicly share their plans to lower emissions and deal with climate change. So far, 18 bodies have submitted their plans, including the U.S., Canada, China and the European Union. The CAIT Climate Data Explorer is tracking these commitments, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs, which you can follow for yourself here.