Countries by Change in Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Name the countries that have increased or decreased their carbon dioxide emissions by the most since 2000.
2000–2019. Source.
In millions of metric tons
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: October 14, 2020
First submittedJanuary 6, 2017
Times taken26,484
Rating4.78
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Reduction
Country
%
-810
United States
-20
-188
United Kingdom
-34
-169
Germany
-19
-162
Ukraine
-45
-128
Italy
-27
-88
Japan
-7
-87
France
-22
-53
Spain
-17
-32
North Korea
-43
-32
Greece
-32
Increase
Country
%
7897
China
+214
1603
India
+161
350
Saudi Arabia
+132
350
Iran
+99
329
Indonesia
+111
249
Vietnam
+442
188
Turkey
+82
168
South Korea
+35
150
South Africa
+43
146
Kazakhstan
+111
+28
Level 67
Jan 7, 2017
Most depressing quiz ever.
+38
Level ∞
Jan 7, 2017
But there is good news too. Nearly every country in the west is using less co2 than before. Britain's carbon dioxide emissions peaked in 1971, and have declined by about 1/3rd since. Adoption of electric vehicles will accelerate the decline.
+12
Level ∞
Jan 7, 2017
Not to mention solar!
+52
Level 48
Jan 8, 2017
Most of the decline in the developed world's carbon emissions can be attributed manufacturing being outsourced to places like China and India, according to the Guardian After you take into account imports, Europe only reduced their carbon footprint by 1% between 1990 and 2008.
+9
Level 27
Apr 5, 2017
Really that's irrelevant though. All of the decreases combined barely make up for the gain in *India*, let alone China.
+10
Level 65
Jun 3, 2020
A lack of carbon footprint growth is progress worth celebrating, and the decreases are good on their own despite other growth. Instead of +186% China -14% USA, without steps made it could have been +186% China +56% USA or something.
+19
Level 58
Oct 15, 2020
Nuclear power is clean, abundant, and safe. By far the way to go.
+3
Level 48
Oct 16, 2020
Definitely, France makes this list for a variety of reasons, but most importantly Nuclear. 75% of France's energy is from Nuclear!
+4
Level 73
Jan 2, 2021
Yes yes yes YES! I have been making this point to classmates for years... France produces so much cheap energy, in fact, that it garners millions every year by selling electricity to other countries because it has more than enough!
+11
Level 76
Jan 8, 2017
What's so bad about C02? It's plant food for Christ's sake!
+2
Level 28
Jan 8, 2017
exactly!
+22
Level ∞
Apr 3, 2017
It's got what plants crave!
+8
Level 81
Apr 3, 2017
It's got electrolytes!
+3
Level 59
Apr 3, 2017
Actually, without any carbon dioxide warming the Earth, the planet would largely be too cold for people to live on.
+28
Level 47
Apr 5, 2017
Oxygen is also good, but too much of it can kill you.

The effects of excess CO2 (climate change, sea level rise, coral bleaching, ice melt etc etc etc) and so well linked and demonstrated that I can't believe we're still having this debate.

+8
Level 59
Oct 22, 2017
cuz too much of it will depress the ozone and make it go away to therapy on another planet.
+1
Level 63
Jan 2, 2021
Without CO2 the earth would have an average temperature of -16°C. We had to calculate that in Physics.
+2
Level 73
Jan 2, 2021
Without greenhouse gases (not only co2) the earth would be -18 C. However, it’s worth remembering that water vapor is an even better greenhouse gas than CO2, which makes the role of CO2 all the more important: by introducing a small increase of co2 to warm the air slightly, that warmer air can now hold more water vapor without condensing into clouds, priming the atmosphere for more dramatic warming.
+4
Level 65
Jan 7, 2017
Asia gain, Europe reduce. Nice to see we reduced by nearly 10 percent!
+23
Level 76
Jan 8, 2017
Yes, but you lose while other parts of the world gain in emissions. That's why all of these climate change laws make no sense. Outsourcing companies to countries that can't handle environmental protection as well as us just so we don't feel guilty is stupid.
+1
Level 50
Jan 2, 2021
That's why the idea of making an international law of ecocide is so important. https://www.stopecocide.earth/
+3
Level ∞
Jan 2, 2021
@CaoMaru. There are better ways to solve the crisis. I'd be very hesitant to give our current set of elites even more power. But let's compromise. Let's reduce emissions by exiling anyone who has ever flown on a private jet onto a small island in the Pacific, where they can exist on subsistence farming. And if they used the jet to fly to a global warming conference, let's make sure the island is extra small.
+1
Level 50
Jan 3, 2021
Interesting article, and a great idea. I do think certain laws (such as ecocide) are important alongside that, but.......I'm definitely right behind the idea of exile.
+3
Level 68
Jan 14, 2019
Before: Europe produce, Europe gain

Now: Asia produce, Europe and Asia gain

+2
Level 71
Jan 8, 2017
The patient is smiling even though he's dying. Well that's some relief.
+2
Level 53
Jan 8, 2017
ahh! I missed only Kazakhstan
+5
Level 84
Oct 14, 2020
So we can compliment the folks in Ast... er, I mean, Nur-Sultan.
+1
Level 58
Jan 8, 2017
Nice to see we're doing SOMETHING right.
+13
Level 61
Jan 9, 2017
No we don't. This should really be corrected by imported and exported CO2. And include CO2 generated by the transport on international trading routes. I don't think it does that.
+7
Level 74
Apr 3, 2017
Exactly. The West has not reduced its consumption of CO2. It just has outsourced its production abroad. Which is utterly stupid, because we are still living in the same planet.
+17
Level ∞
Apr 3, 2017
The West definitely has reduced its consumption per capita at the very least. Improvements in fuel efficiency standards for cars and insulation for buildings have made a difference. Its not enough obviously, but lets not pretend that no progress has been made. And with the coming solar revolution, I think its possible that things will continue to improve, certain politicians non-withstanding.
+5
Level 27
Apr 5, 2017
Yes the West is screwing itself over economically by trying to reduce its carbon emissions, meanwhile none of the developing countries care.
+3
Level 82
Jan 31, 2017
Can't believe I got them all
+1
Level 42
Jan 20, 2019
Haha, me too. Got Greece with only 22 seconds remained.
+1
Level 37
Jan 2, 2021
Same, lol. with 1:30 to spare
+1
Level 74
Jan 2, 2021
I got all but one of them pretty quickly. North Korea took the most time (thought they didn't have data).
+11
Level 71
Apr 3, 2017
And people still claim that China is leading the world in combating climate change
+1
Level 59
Apr 3, 2017
Remember this is a 13 year period i.e. much of it is history before climate change was viewed so significantly, and before Paris Accords, etc.
+4
Level 60
Apr 3, 2017
Wealthy countries in the west are just outsourcing their industrial pollution to emerging countries, where they use the dirtiest energy on the planet. See it go down in the U.S. and Germany while China and India skyrockets, where they actually make all that green tech along with the rest of everything else we purchase and use. It IS a depressing quiz and there is no "good news" here.
+14
Level ∞
Apr 4, 2017
The US is manufacturing more than ever, and doing so with far less carbon output than before. Let's not be defeatist and refuse to acknowledge the very real progress that has been made.
+2
Level 27
Apr 5, 2017
Nah we're screwing ourselves over by falling for the stupid carbon reduction meme. None of the other countries care, they will trample all over us.
+19
Level ∞
Nov 3, 2018
@sensfan123. Defeatism is for losers. We can grow our economy and reduce our carbon use at the same time. In fact, we already are!
+2
Level 65
Nov 9, 2018
I always think my level is good until I see people in the comments
+1
Level 67
Jan 4, 2019
Sad quiz indeed... (and getting 17/20 only beats 30% wow)
+5
Level 68
Jan 20, 2019
It disappointed me to find that Australia, my home country, wasn't on this list. Then, I checked the source only to find that we'd risen, among the kinds of China and Iran - and this broke my heart.
+1
Level 58
Jan 20, 2019
Aside from the vast majority of its people being good, is Saudi Arabia an evil country?
+17
Level 60
Jan 20, 2019
Well not that this has much to do with its CO2 emissions but yes, of course it is. A place which in the modern world still so severely restricts the liberty of half its population (women), and assassinates those who speak out against their archaic regime (Khashoggi for example) is certainly evil in my mind.
+1
Level 58
Jan 20, 2019
Great Quiz, like it!
+1
Level 56
May 11, 2019
In Ukraine even more, almost like in the USA

Cince 1990 emissions dropped 4 times

+1
Level 46
Jul 29, 2019
its too late to stop, It is now time to plan for the consequences.
+17
Level ∞
May 12, 2020
Wrong. Global warming exists on a a continuum. The more CO2 that gets pumped into the atmosphere, the worse things will be. Even if we can't completely prevent it, it is worthwhile to try to stop the worst-case scenarios.

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."

+1
Level 57
May 1, 2020
I want to see one by percentage.
+1
Level 68
May 12, 2020
Interesting figures. To put it into perspective, a look at emission per capita is helpful.

"The biggest absolute emissions come from China and the United States. In terms of CO2 emissions per capita, China is ranked only ranked 47th, at 7.5 metric tonnes per capita. The US is ranked 11th at 16.5 per capita and amongst countries with sizeable populations, has the highest CO2 emissions per capita. India is the third highest country in terms of absolute emissions, but only 158th in terms of per capita output with 1.7 metric tonnes per capita."

https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/10296/economics/top-co2-polluters-highest-per-capita/

So thinking about China or India, right now still pretty low in the per-capita-ranks, continuing their speedy economic growth, is kind of worrying. On the other hand, looking at the US as the worst polluter per capita and comparing them to the likes of UK, there is huge room for improvement.

+2
Level ∞
May 12, 2020
Here's a per-capita quiz. The U.S. uses a lot. Unfortunately, since China's population is so much larger, even if the U.S. went to zero, it wouldn't be enough to fix the problem. Since China is unlikely to seriously care about global warming, there is only one way out of this crisis. Develop technology that actively removes CO2 from the atmosphere. If the west cuts emissions by 5% or 25%, or even 100%, it simply isn't enough.
+1
Level 74
Oct 14, 2020
Which of course doesn't mean, that it is not important for the west to cut CO2 as much as possible. Even if it is just buying time.
+2
Level 67
Jan 2, 2021
I actually wouldn't be that pessimistic about China considering that they've recently a goal to reach net zero by 2060 (although of course this is a recent development and Jenenser and Quizmaster didn't know about it at the time).

I'm not completely optimistic about the outlook right now, but I'm becoming more hopeful for what the coming decade can accomplish. It seems that developed and developing countries alike are becoming serious about capping CO2 emissions and investing in clean energy. Also, as terrible as the pandemic is, it's cast a spotlight on how governments can use science and data to respond to global crises, and the coming economic recovery will probably go hand in hand with restructuring national economies so that they can use more clean energy. The election of Joe Biden will also probably help, considering he's pledged very serious action on climate change.

+1
Level 56
May 12, 2020
Quite odd to see South Korea as only western country on the left side of the list
+4
Level 78
Aug 20, 2020
I don't think you understand what "Western" means
+3
Level 68
Aug 26, 2020
They probably meant 1st world..
+1
Level 72
Oct 17, 2020
Culturally western. Same as Australia or New Zealand.
+2
Level 71
Oct 19, 2020
Maybe he lives in Japan. It's like a Scot calling somebody from Newcastle a Southerner.
+1
Level 63
Jan 2, 2021
South Koreans don't really put environment high on a list of priorities, especially in politics. It's always economy and jobs. The government also blames China for most of their environmental problems, especially air pollution, which while is partly true, helps people to falsely think their country has no blame and little recourse, thus postponing attempts to seriously improve things.
+4
Level 79
Oct 14, 2020
Turns out starving your people does wonders for the carbon footprint, more progress from North Korea's glorious leader.
+5
Level 71
Oct 19, 2020
Yet again, North Korea proves to be the Best Korea.
+4
Level 67
Jan 2, 2021
Lol. Perhaps her parents are making that Swedish girl yell at the wrong crowd.
+3
Level 50
Jan 2, 2021
Come back and complain about others when you are doing something yourself. Until then, don't complain.
+2
Level 32
Jan 2, 2021
After trying a number of countries, I just started going with larger ones (both by area and population), which is what almost every answer ended up being.
+2
Level 67
Jan 2, 2021
It's nice seeing that the US has decreased emissions by a significant amount. I feel like climate news tends to blame America for everything... and while it's certainly true America could probably be doing more, a 20% decrease is better than I expected. And on the other hand, I've heard that Germany was a leader in clean energy, and yet they are in roughly the same place as the US percentage-wise.

And as I said above, the Biden administration will take serious action on this (especially if Democrats control the Senate), so there's good reason to except CO2 emissions to decrease even more in the coming years.

+1
Level 46
Jan 2, 2021
Damn, missed Iran and South Africa.
+1
Level 56
Jan 2, 2021
Why did north korea go down? I assume it has something to do with their lack of manufacturing power and no trade and cars, stuff like that
+3
Level 53
Jan 3, 2021
Round of applause to North Korea lol
+3
Level 56
Jan 4, 2021
North Korea is a friend of the earth
+1
Level 70
Jan 8, 2021
yes very much
+3
Level 51
Jan 5, 2021
North Korea: Good

South Korea: Bad?

Hold up