The Washington Post's Powerful Total and Per Capita Emissions Tool


As the climate negotiations in Barcelona continue this week, issues of social justice and economic equity are at the forefront. A group of African nations walked out today, supported by Bolivia, Benin and Venezuela, over issues of funding and the weak emissions reduction targets set by developed countries. The arguments about fairness from developing countries, which will be disproportionally affected by climate change, are clear when you look at the

">Washington Post's amazing tool
that tracks total national emissions and emissions per capita over the past 50 years. The tool allows users to slide back and forth in time to see how countries have grown or decreased their emissions and how much energy each citizen uses. The US's share of emissions has grown incredibly over the years. In 1960, for instance, it was 800 million metric tons. Now it's 1.56 billion metric tons. China too has exploded. In 2000, they emitted about 920 million metric tons. Now its 1.66 billion metric tons.

But per capita, the US is far and away the worst polluter. The average American emits 5.47 metric tons per year. The average Indian? .32 tons, which raises serious questions about what a country like India is responsible for as we agree on a global pact to slash emissions.

Check out the tool and see for yourself how much we should be willing to sacrifice to bring our lifestyle and energy use in line with the much of the rest of the world's.

More on Per Capita's Emissions
Australia Now the World's Largest Per Capita Carbon Emitter
California to Ban Power-Sucking Big Screen TVs Next Month