The top five countries by CO2 emissions are the larger economies and initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint could potentially mean compromising future economic growth, but despite such challenges there has been some good progress although more needs to be done.
The top five countries by CO2 emissions from the consumption and flaring of fossil fuels are China, the USA, India, Russia, and Japan.
The two key factors contributing to China’s high level of CO2 emissions are its heavy reliance on coal to sustain its dynamic economic activities and the growing use of oil products partly driven by increasing demand for automobiles.
Transport is the leading cause of the USA’s carbon emissions from the consumption and flaring of fossil fuels. With light vehicles sales equalling 17.5 million, the USA was the second leading country in the category in 2015.
India’s CO2 emissions from the consumption and flaring of fossil fuel mainly emerge from its heavy reliance on coal for electricity generation as well as various coal based industrial activities including cement, lime, and plaster production, which grew by 63.8% in constant prices between 1999 and 2016.
Russia recorded the strongest decline in both coal consumption and carbon emissions between 2011 and 2016 in the named group.
Coal was the leading contributor to Japan’s carbon emissions in 2016. Japan’s reliance on coal increased following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, leading to the shut down of all its nuclear power plants.
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