The Guardian has produced a new graphic showing the relative size of CO2 emissions by nation, with China and India experiencing significant growth in 2009, while emissions dropped in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Russia. With its CO2 emissions rising 13.3 percent from 2008 to 2009, China is by far the world’s leading emitter of CO2, producing 7.7 billion tons in 2009 — 1.7 billion more than the 5.4 billion tons emitted by the United States. India’s emissions rose 8.7 percent to 1.6 billion tons, making it the world’s third-largest emitter of CO2.
Because of the economic recession and the growing role played by renewable energy, CO2 emissions in the U.S., Europe, and Russia declined by roughly 7 percent in 2009.
The biggest drop in CO2 emissions was in Ukraine, where emissions fell 28 percent, and Chile posted the biggest increase, with emissions rising 74 percent.
The U.S. remains by far the biggest emitter per capita, with 18 tons produced per person. China emits 6 tons per person and India only 1.3 tons per person. Global emissions remained essentially unchanged in 2009, at 30.4 billion tons.