Man-made CO2 emissions 1965 – 2016

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2016 Summarised

The following calculations and graphics are based on information on national CO2 emission levels worldwide published by BP in June 2017 for the period from 1965 up until the end of 2016.

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Some points arising from the BP data set:

  • The contrast between the developed and developing worlds remains stark in terms of their history of CO2 emissions and the likely prognosis for their future CO2 output.
  • Since 1980 CO2 emissions from the developed world have shown a real decrease, whereas the developing world has shown a fourfold increase since 1980.  That increase is and should be accelerating to ensure the improvement of the quality of the lives of people in the underdeveloped and developing world.
  • By 2016 CO2 emissions from the developing world were more than 60% of the global total.
  • Global CO2 emissions growth 2015 – 2016 was minimal at 0.1% overall.
  • CO2 emissions / head for India and the rest of the world’s Underdeveloped nations (~53% of the world population) remained very low at ~1.7 tonnes / head, meaning that their state of serious deprivation and underdevelopment is continuing.
  • India and the underdeveloped world will certainly be continuing to promote their own development to attain comparable development levels to their other peer developing nations s at least.
  • India’s growth in CO2 emissions 2014 – 2015 was by a further 5%, whereas China’s CO2 emission growth was slightly negative in the period.
  • China’s CO2 emissions / head for its population of some 1.4 billion have approached  the average emissions / head in Europe.
  • China’s CO2 emissions / head was higher than most of the EU Nations other than Germany.

In October 2010 Professor Richard Muller made the dilemma for all those who hope to control global warming by reducing CO2 emissions, particularly from Western Nations, clear: in essence he said:

“the Developing World is not joining-in with CO2 emission reductions nor does it have any intention of doing so.  The failure of worldwide action negates the unilateral action of any individual western Nation”.


Representation by Region

This presentation divides the world nations into seven logical groups with distinct attitudes to CO2 control:

developed nations:  population 1,184 million – ~16%.

  • United States of America, now under President Trump rescinding many of Obama’s climate initiatives including USA support for the Paris Climate accord:  population 321m – 4.4%.
  • The European Union (28), (including the UK), currently believers in action to combat Global Warming, generally enthusiastic supporters of the Paris Climate Accord as the European Union;  population 506m – 6.9%.
  • Japan, the former Soviet Union, Canada and Australia, (JP RU CA AU), are developed nations, ambivalent towards controls on CO2 emissions and not necessarily adhering to the Paris Climate Accord:  population 356m – 4.9%.

developing nations:  population 6,123 million – ~84%

  • China and Hong Kong: developing very rapidly, with no commitments under the Paris Climate Accord till at least 2030: population 1,398m – 19.1%.
  • India: developing rapidly from a low base, with no commitments under the Paris Climate Accord till at least 2030:  population 1,274m – 17.4%.
  • South Korea, Iran, South Africa, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Indonesia and Taiwan, (KR IR ZA MX SA BR ID TW):  the more advanced developing nations, still developing rapidly, with minimal commitments under the Paris Climate accord :  population 833m – 11.4%.
  • Rest of World (~160 Nations): developing rapidly from a low base, with no real commitments under the Paris Climate Accord other than the anticipated receipt of “Climate Funds” from developed nations:  population 2,630m – 35.5%.

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The history of CO2 emissions since 1965 according to the BP data set is shown below.

Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 17.05.09.pngThe significant recent changes in CO2 emissions can be  seem below.

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Some notable points arise from changes in CO2 emissions 2015 – 2016:

  • The USA shows the largest reduction of CO2 emissions through the use of fracked gas for cheap electricity generation.
  • The developed Nations (JP RU CA AU) show a marginal reduction
  • Remarkably the EU(28) shows a slight uptick from the increasing use of Coal-fired generation.
  • China although the heaviest emitter of CO2 at ~27.6% of the world total shows some recent reduction.  With the continuing installation of further Coal-fired electrical generation plants this level can be expected to rise again.
  • India continues to accelerate its CO2 emissions with 5.3% over the year.  With the Indian policy of using further coal power stations for electricity generation this growth will inevitably continue.
  • The rapidly developing Nations (KR IR ZA MX SA BR ID TW) emissions are rising  marginally.
  • The underdeveloped Rest of World (~160 Nations) world grew by 3.0% over the year.

The longer term picture of CO2 emissions growth this millennium and the concomitant growth of CO2 emissions/ head is shown below.Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 11.39.35.png

Gross CO2 emissions

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These graphs of total CO2 emission history show that up until 2016:

  • there has been an overall reduction of CO2 emissions from developed economies since 1990.
  • the USA, simply by exploiting shale gas for electricity generation, has already reduced its CO2 emissions by some 9.5% since 2005. That alone has already had more CO2 emission reduction effect than the entire Kyoto protocol.

  • CO2 emissions from the developed economies ambivalent about action on CO2 (JP RU CA AU) have hardly grown since 2005.
  • the European Union, EU(28) has reduced its CO2 emissions by ~22% since 2005

However, CO2 emissions from the developing world as a whole overtook the developed world in 2007 and are now ~60% larger than the developed world’s CO2 emissions.

There has been a very rapid escalation of Chinese CO2 emissions since the year 2000.

  • China overtook the USA CO2 emissions in 2006, and Chinese emissions are now ~62% greater than the USA, the escalation in Chinese CO2 emissions continues. Chinese emissions have grown by +75% since 2005 and China continues to build coal fired powerstations to supply the bulk of its electricity as its industrial and domestic demands grow.
  • India has accelerating emissions, growing from a low base, by +63% since 2005. India too is building coal fired powerstations to increase the supply of electricity as 25% of its population still has no access to electric power.
  • there is inexorable CO2 emissions growth from the Rest of the World economies, from a low base, they have grown by +30% since 2005.

So any CO2 emissions reduction achieved by the Developed Nations will be entirely negated by the increases in CO2 emissions from Developing Nations.

A comparison can be made between the annual growth of CO2 emissions from China and India and the annual  CO2 emissions output of major European economies.

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This graph shows clearly that total European CO2 emissions from key European nations have often been entirely dwarfed by the incremental growth seen in China.

The growth of Chinese CO2 emissions in some years have often exceeded the German, UK and French CO2 emissions level.

It is also interesting to note that by 2014 the growth in CO2 emissions in India have currently overtaken those in China.

CO2 emissions / head

Possibly more significant than the total CO2 emissions output is the comparison of the CO2 emissions / head for the various nation groups.  This measure represents the level of development of various Nations.

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  • China overtook the world-wide average in 2003 and surpassed the rapidly developing nations in 2006.
  • China’s CO2 emissions / head have increased ~11 fold since 1965.
  • China’s emissions / head have recently reduced slightly to 6.63 tonnes / head.
  • The EU(28) with active legal measures have reduced since 2006.  Much of the recent downward trend is largely attributed to their declining economies and the displacement of industrial processes to countries with laxer environmental regimes.
  • But recently the EU(28) has seen an upturn in CO2 emissions/head because of increased coal burning for electricity generation particularly in Germany.
  • The overall EU(28) and China are presently closely matched in CO2 at ~6.7 tonnes / head
  • India’s CO2 emissions have grown by 4.7 times over the period and are now showing recent acceleration. That rate is likely to grow substantially with continuing and increased use of coal for electricity generation.
  • India and the bulk of the underdeveloped, ~55% of the world’s population, still remain at a very low level of CO2 emissions levels of only about 1.7 tonnes / head, this level is about 1/10 of the level of the USA and about 1/4 of the level in the EU(28).
  • The USA has already reduced its CO2 emissions / head by ~20% since in 2005, mainly arising from the use of shale gas for electricity generation.  The USA has again reduced its CO2 emissions/ head in the last year to ~16.30 tonnes/head.  This is the due to the use of Fracked Gas for cheap electricity generation.
  • Russia is actively involved in backing anti-fracking campaigns in Europe and apparently now in the USA via its support of various NGO groups.  This is an obvious policy to protect the largest Gasprom markets for Russian Gas in the West.  In the past this has retained an energy stranglehold on Western nations, as was demonstrated in the Ukraine.  The export of Fracked gas from the USA to Europe will progressively break such a stranglehold.
  • Russia, Japan, Canada and Australia have only grown their emissions/head by ~1% since 2005.

When the participating nations particularly in the environmentally active  / Green aware EU are compared with Chinese CO2 emissions/head, an interesting picture arises, showing:

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  • Average EU(28) CO2 emissions and China approximate closely.
  • EU(28) CO2 emissions overall have increased slightly in 2016, notably in Germany and France but not in the UK.
  • Chinese CO2 emissions at 6.63 tonnes/head for its 1.4 billion population are already ~47% greater than the worldwide average.  Even so China’s emissions/head have reduced slightly in 2016.
  • China’s CO2 emissions/head now substantially exceed those in the UK.
  • However China has no commitment under the Paris Climate Accord to restrain its CO2 emissions till after 2030.
  • The UK has seen a significant drop in CO2 emissions reaching 5.74 tonnes/head in 2016.
  • Germany virtually alone amongst the EU(28) still substantially exceeds the CO2 emissions/head level of China.
  • France emissions/head are at roughly the world-wide average 4.42.
  • At 4.50 tonnes/head, France, has the lowest CO2 emission rates in the developed world. This is entirely due to the previous commitments by France to electricity generation by Nuclear energy.  That simple fact makes President Macron’s stated intention to reduce Nuclear generation  from ~80% to 50% particularly anachronistic.
  • China’s CO2  exceeded France’s CO2 emissions / head in 2009 and are now ~46% higher.
  • The EU(28) CO2 emissions / head as a whole is now ~7% higher than China
  • Germany, one of the largest CO2 emitters in Europe, has emissions/head ~105% higher than the worldwide average but it is only ~45% higher than China.
  • Germany’s emissions / head have tended to increase recently because they are now burning much larger quantities of brown coal to compensate for the “irrational” closure of their nuclear generating capacity.  
  • Following the Fukushima disaster, the German government position of rapidly eliminating nuclear power in a country with no earthquake risk and no chance of tsunamis should not be tenable.

The performance of France in limiting CO2 emissions must question the logic of Green attitudes in opposing of Nuclear power.  If CO2 emissions really were a concern to arrest Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming / Man-made Climate Change, these results, particularly from France, show starkly the very real advantage of using Nuclear power for electricity generation.

But even France’s commitment to Nuclear power is now being questioned.  Green attitudes in the French government are thus now threatening to destroy one of France’s supreme national assets, i.e. its commitment to Nuclear energy for electricity generation, which if it were an advantage, have no significant CO2 emissions.



The futility of Western de-carbonisation

Actions in the West in response to the Alarmist Green agenda have

  • increased risks to energy security
  • cost private energy users dearly
  • damaged the economics of all its manufacturing industries.

Those industrial companies are bound to seek more congenial energy / business environments, with laxer attitudes towards CO2 emissions.  So the futility of the expenditure of vast resources on Green activities in Germany and throughout the Western world becomes clear.  An estimate of the 60 year lifetime cost commitment of some €3.4 trillion that has already been committed for the installation of weather dependent Renewables in Europe is given at

According to Bjorn Lomborg the ~€125billion German investment in solar power alone, not including other renewable investments, could only ever reduce the onset of Global Warming by a matter of about 37 hours by the year 2100, if at all.

In addition in their recent paper the prestigious French Société de Calcul Mathématique SA have clearly said:“The battle against global warming: an absurd, costly and pointless crusade”

And more recently Bjorn Lomborg has produced evidence that the total effect of any agreement in the terms proposed in Paris could only control future warming in 2100 by less than 0.2°C.