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The World’s Top 25 CO2 Emissions Generating Countries: Who Produces the Most Carbon Dioxide?

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Topping this list as it tops so many others is China. No country on earth produces more CO2 than China, and it isn’t even close. The next closest culprit — the United States — produces half as much CO2 as China.

China creates almost double the emissions of second-placed the United States, which is in turn responsible for more than twice the level of third-placed India. Just two countries, China and the United States, are responsible for more than 40 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Collectively, the world’s top 15 CO2 emissions-generating countries are responsible for 72% of global carbon dioxide emissions. To determine the top 25 countries emitting the most carbon dioxide, CEOWORLD magazine ranked nations based on territorial emissions – millions of metric tons of carbon emitted from fossil fuels, change from CO2 emissions, and methane emissions within a nation’s borders – published by the Global Carbon Project 2018. Here we list the 25 countries that emitted the most carbon dioxide.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Country: Who Produces the Most CO2?

  1. China
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 9,838.8 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 7.1 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 270.3%
    Methane emissions (2012): 1,752.3 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 1.39 billion
    GDP per capita (2017): $15,309
  2. United States
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 5,269.5 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 16.2 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 1.8%
    Methane emissions (2012): 499.8 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 325.1 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $54,471
  3. India
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 2,466.8 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 1.8 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 253.0%
    Methane emissions (2012): 636.4 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 1.34 billion
    GDP per capita (2017): $6,514
  4. Russia
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 1,692.8 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 11.7 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: -15.1%
    Methane emissions (2012): 545.8 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 144.5 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $24,790
  5. Japan
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 1,205.1 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 9.5 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 2.4%
    Methane emissions (2012): 39.0 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 126.8 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $39,011
  6. Germany
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 799.4 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 9.7 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: -17.3%
    Methane emissions (2012): 55.7 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 82.7 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $45,446
  7. Iran
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 672.3 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 8.3 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 196.2%
    Methane emissions (2012): 121.3 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 81.2 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $18,983
  8. Saudi Arabia
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 635.0 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 19.3 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 122.8%
    Methane emissions (2012): 62.9 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 32.9 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $48,986
  9. South Korea
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 616.1 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 12.0 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 118.3%
    Methane emissions (2012): 32.6 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 51.5 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $35,938
  10. Canada
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 572.8 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 15.6 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 22.2%
    Methane emissions (2012): 106.8 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 36.7 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $44,018
  11. Mexico
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 490.3 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 3.8 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 46.7%
    Methane emissions (2012): 116.7 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 129.2 million
    DP per capita (2017): $17,331
  12. Indonesia
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 486.8 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 1.8 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 139.0%
    Methane emissions (2012): 223.3 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 264.0 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $11,189
  13. Brazil
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 476.1 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 2.3 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 118.0%
    Methane emissions (2012): 477.1 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 209.3 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $14,137
  14. South Africa
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 456.3 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 8.0 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 51.6%
    Methane emissions (2012): 63.2 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 56.7 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $12,294
  15. Turkey
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 447.9 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 5.5 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 181.6%
    Methane emissions (2012): 78.9 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 80.7 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $25,135
  16. Australia
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 413.1 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 16.8 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 45.0%
    Methane emissions (2012): 125.6 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 24.6 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $44,643
  17. United Kingdom
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 384.7 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 5.8 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: -35.2%
    Methane emissions (2012): 59.0 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 66.0 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $39,884
  18. France
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 356.3 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 5.3 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: -14.9%
    Methane emissions (2012): 81.2 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 67.1 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $38,808
  19. Italy
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 355.45 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 5.9 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: -19.1%
    Methane emissions (2012): 35.2 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 60.5 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $35,343
  20. Thailand
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 330.84 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 4.8 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 206.1%
    Methane emissions (2012): 106.5 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 69.0 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $16,279
  21. Poland
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 326.6 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 8.6 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: -10.2%
    Methane emissions (2012): 65.1 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 38.0 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $27,344
  22. Kazakhstan
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 292.6 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 16.2 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 25.6%
    Methane emissions (2012): 71.4 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 18.0 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $24,079
  23. Spain
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 281.4 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 6.0 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 12.4%
    Methane emissions (2012): 37.2 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 46.6 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $34,269
  24. Taiwan
    C2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 271.5 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 11.5 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 89.4%
    Methane emissions (2012): Not available
    Population (2017): 23.5 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $24,971
  25. Malaysia
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel (2017): 254.6 million metric tons
    CO2 emissions from fossil fuel per person (2017): 8.1 metric tons
    Change from CO2 emissions in 1992: 241.9%
    Methane emissions (2012): 34.3 million metric tons (CO2e)
    Population (2017): 31.6 million
    GDP per capita (2017): $26,824

Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Country: Who Produces the Most CO2


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Alexandra Dimitropoulou
Deputy executive editor at the ​CEOWORLD magazine. Writer, internet person, professional restaurant recommender, and native New Yorker. Passions: health & wellness, coffee, running & dogs.
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