About the author
Mark Perry Tweets
What’s New on AEI
Sign up for AEI Today
What nation on Earth has reduced its carbon emissions more than any other, part II?
View related content: Carpe Diem
A few weeks ago, I had a post (“Q: What nation on Earth has reduced its carbon emissions more than any other?“) that featured a video of Dr. Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, who suggested that the answer to the question was “the USA.” There was some discussion in the comment section about where there were other countries that had reduced CO2 emissions more than the US, e.g., Russian Federation.
Dr. Michaels didn’t provide any specific data sources or time period in the video to support his answer, and I was unaware of any reliable data sources on international CO2 emissions by country until I came across a post last night on the Watts Up With That? website, “the world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change.” That post (“#COP23 In one graph, best reason ever why the USA doesn’t need to be in the #ParisAgreement“) featured several great charts based on global energy data from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017 (data tables here).
The top chart above is a slight variation of the first chart featured in the Watts Up With That? post and shows the countries that have achieved the greatest reduction in CO2 emissions this century (2000 to 2016) led by the United States, which has reduced CO2 emissions by 626 million tons since 2000. That reduction of CO2 emissions in the US this century is four times greater than the country with the second largest reduction (UK) and equal to the reductions of the next eight countries combined (UK, Ukraine, Italy, Germany, France, Greece, Spain, and Japan).
The bottom chart above shows the countries with the greatest reductions in CO2 emissions over the last decade (2007 to 2016), with the United States again leading the world. The reduction in the US of nearly 800 million tons of CO2 emissions since 2007 is almost five times greater than the second ranked country (UK) is just slightly less than the reductions of the next ten countries combined (UK, Italy, Ukraine, Spain, Japan, Russian Federation, France, Germany, Canada, and Greece).
MP: With access now to reliable global data on CO2 emissions, and with two relevant time periods specified (2000 to 2016 and 2007 to 2016), I agree with Dr. Michaels that the correct answer to the question is: “The USA.” And it’s not even close.