Who pollutes and has polluted the most?
I’ve been excited about the visualization of data for a while now and thought I might be able to display some useful statistics in regards to the carbon dioxide debates which are sure to start with the Copenhagen Climate talks this December. The finger-pointing and diplomatic game has been going for a while now, and the standard story of blaming each other for polluting too much will probably soon hit the media. The US points the finger at China, after China became the biggest total co2 emitter in 2006. China blames the west for having already pushed too much co2 into the atmosphere. The EU is talking about capping developing nations and so forth and so on. Below is a little picture showing how much the big countries pollute per capita, in total as a percentage of world pollution and how much we’ve already pumped into the atmosphere (again as a % of the total up there)… I’m not offering any fancy analysis of the figures, but I think it is useful, especially as a reference point for what will probably be a politicised debate, with the data forgotten. [Full size picture here]
Some countries stand out… Australias Per capita emissions, USAs everything, Chinese total emissions both in 2006 and since 1850, and as an interesting aside, it is Iran which is closest to the world average per capita output…
The average co2 output globally per capita in 2006 was 7.27 tonnes, and 4.71 tonnes if we take away the top-10 per capita polluters.The full data set can be downloaded from here if you want to have a look.