For global carbon accounting purposes the world is a single country. The Earth’s atmosphere is a common resource without borders. Emissions of greenhouse gases mix freely in the atmosphere over time and space. It makes no difference for climate change whether the marginal tonne of CO2 comes from a coal-fired power plant, from a car, or from a loss of carbon sinks in tropical rainforests.
While each tonne of carbon dioxide carries equal weight, the global account masks large variations in contributions to overall emissions from different sources. All activities, all countries and all people register in the global carbon account—but some register far more heavily than others.
Select any country from the drop-down menu to see a comparison of its C02 emissions contrasted to its share of the world population.
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