Global greenhouse gas emissions

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This indicator highlights greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by human activity around the world. Greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere for periods ranging from a few years to thousands of years. As such, they have a worldwide impact, no matter where they were first emitted.

Key results

  • Between 2005 and 2013, global GHG emissions increased by 18.3%. During that time, emissions from China increased by 61.5%.
  • Canada's emissions in 2013 made up 1.6% of global GHG emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions for the world and top 10 emitting countries and regions,Footnote [1] 2005 and 2013

Column chart on the left showing global GHG emissions. Bar chart on the right provides a breakdown of GHG emissions for the top 10 emitting countries. - Long description below.
Long description

The column chart on the left shows global greenhouse gas emissions for 2005 and 2013. The bar chart on the right provides a breakdown of greenhouse gas emissions for the top 10 emitting countries or regions (China, United States, European Union, India, Russian Federation, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Canada and Mexico) for 2005 and 2013. Emissions in both charts are expressed in megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Data for this chart
Greenhouse gas emissions for the world and top 10 emitting countries and regions, Footnote [1] 2005 and 2013
Country or region 2005 Greenhouse gas emissions (megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) Share of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 (percent) 2013 Greenhouse gas emissions (megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) Share of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 (percent) 2005 to 2013 percent change in national emissions
China 7267 19.0 11 735 25.9 61.5
United States 6765 17.7 6280 13.9 -7.2
European Union (28) Note de bas de page [A] 4883 12.8 4225 9.3 -13.5
India 1970 5.1 2909 6.4 47.6
Russian Federation 2110 5.5 2199 4.9 4.2
Japan 1303 3.4 1353 3.0 3.8
Brazil 828 2.2 1018 2.2 23.0
Indonesia 610 1.6 744 1.6 22.1
Canada 708 1.9 738 1.6 4.2
Mexico 682 1.8 733 1.6 7.5
World 38 273 100.0 45 261 100.0 18.3
Rest of the worldNote de bas de page [B] 11 147 29.1 13 327 29.4 19.6


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How this indicator was calculated

Note: Greenhouse gas emissions for each country and region presented in this comparison were calculated by the World Resources Institute. For certain countries, including Canada, these values differ from the latest official estimate of greenhouse gas emissions submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Canada's emissions under this indicator also differ from the Greenhouse gas emissions indicator which is based on Canada's submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Source: World Resources Institute (2017) CAIT Climate Data Explorer.

More information

Canada's share of global emissions decreased since 2005. Like that of other developed countries, it is anticipated to continue to decline with the expected rapid increase in emissions from developing and emerging countries, particularly China, India, Brazil and Indonesia.

On December 12, 2015, Canada and 194 other countries reached the Paris Agreement, an ambitious and balanced agreement to fight climate change. This new agreement will strengthen the effort to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reaching this goal implies large-scale changes in energy systems and potentially land use across the world. In addition, the efforts and associated costs needed to reach this goal will vary between countries, with the distribution of costs across countries potentially being different from the distribution of the actions themselves.Footnote [2]

About the indicator

What does the indicator measure

The Global greenhouse gas emissions indicator reports global human emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) for 2005 and 2013. Emissions from energy and non-energy related sources are included in this indicator, while emissions from land use, land use change and forestry are excluded. The emissions of GHGs include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.

Why is this indicator important

The indicator provides a global perspective on Canada's share of GHG emissions.

What are the related indicators

The Carbon dioxide emissions from a consumption perspective indicator provides a view of the impact of Canada's consumption of goods and services, regardless of where they are produced, on the levels of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

The Greenhouse gas emissions indicators report trends in total anthropogenic (human-made) GHG emissions at the national level. Emissions are also presented per person and per unit gross domestic product, by province and territory, by economic sector and from large facilities.

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