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Revised Annual Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Pollution For All Countries – What Is Your Country Doing?

By Dr Gideon Polya

06 January, 2016

The Paris Climate Change Conference failed Humanity and has locked in a catastrophic temperature rise of about plus 2.7 degrees C. All ordinary folk can do is to boycott the worst polluters. World Bank analysts have revised annual greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutions  upwards by 50% to 64 billion tonnes CO2-e by properly accounting for land use for animal husbandry and the same approach has been used here to properly re-calculate annual per capita GHG pollution for all countries and hence the best targets for  global Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to save the planet.

World Bank analysts carefully re-evaluated the contribution of livestock production to world annual GHG pollution and found that the world's annual total rose from 41.76 billion tonnes CO2-equivalent (CO2-e) as estimated by the Food and Agricultural  Organisation  (FAO) to 63.80 billion tonnes CO2-e, with livestock production contributing  over 51% of the higher figure [1]. A key element of their analysis was to use a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of methane (CH4) relative  to that of carbon dioxide (CO2) of 72 in a 20-year time frame rather than the 25 on a 100 year time frame used by the FAO [1]. Indeed the World Bank analysis evidently still understates the GHG pollution because NASA scientists have re-evaluated the GWP of CH4 as 105 in a  20 year time frame with aerosol impacts considered [2].

Relatively up to date and accurate  data on global  CO2 emissions from cement manufacture and burning fossil fuels  is  available  from the US Government [3] and from the EU Emission Database for Global  Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) [4].  Global  2000 data on annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution with and without land use  is available on Wikipedia  [5] and was used, as outlined below, to determine for every country a current corrected estimate of  annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – data that is otherwise astonishingly unavailable for ready access by concerned citizens of the planet.

World non-land use CO2 pollution in 2013 was 4.932 tonnes CO2 per person per year [4], and with a world population of 7.137 billion in 2013 this corresponds  to 35.23 billion tonnes CO2-e. The World Bank estimate of 63.80 billion tonnes CO2-e involves  63.80 – 35.23 = 28.57 billion tonnes CO2-e due to land use and livestock [1]. The previous FAO estimate of 7.52 billion tonnes CO2-e due to land use and livestock is 3.8 times less than the revised World Bank estimate of 28.57 billion tonnes CO2-e due to livestock; the FAO estimate of an annual  total  of 41.76 billion tonnes CO2-equivalent (CO2-e) minus 35.23 billion tonnes CO2 (due to fossil fuel burning and cement) is 6.53 billion tonnes CO2-e due to land use which is 4.4 times less than  revised World Bank estimate of 28.57 billion tonnes CO2-e due to livestock; accordingly, as described below,  a correction factor of 4  was conveniently applied to make  upwardly corrected estimates of annual per capita GHG pollution due to land use.

For each country,  2013 annual per capita CO2 pollution from fossil fuel burning and cement (A) [4] was subtracted from  2000 annual per capita GHG pollution with  land use included (B) [5] to get an estimate of annual per capita pollution due to land use only (C) which was corrected upwards by multiplying by a factor of 4 to get a corrected estimate of annual per capita GHG pollution due to land use (D). The sum of A plus D gave a corrected estimate (E) of current annual per capita GHG pollution for each country.  In some cases,  A was greater that B, in which case A was taken as the final current corrected estimate (E).

Below are listed revised annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution for all countries (tonnes CO2-e per person per year), the world average being 63.80 billion tonnes CO2-e / 7.137 billion people in 2013 = 8.9 tonnes CO2-e per person per year. The countries  are grouped as the Very Good (below world average annual per capita  GHG emissions) , the Good ( 1-2 times world average), the Bad (2-4 times world average) and the Ugly (4-41 times greater than the word average).

The Ugly - about 4 to 41 times the world average:  

Belize (366.9), Guyana (203.1), Malaysia (126.0), Papua New Guinea (114.7), Qatar (101.8), Zambia (97.5), Antigua & Barbuda (85.6), United Arab Emirates (82.4), Panama (68.0), Botswana (64.9), Liberia (55.0), Indonesia (53.6), New Zealand (53.2), Australia (52.9; 116 if including its huge GHG-generating  exports), Nicaragua (51.2), Canada (50.1), Equatorial Guinea (47.5), Venezuela (45.2), Brazil (43.4),  Myanmar (41.9), Ireland (41.4), United States (41.0), Cambodia (40.5), Kuwait (37.3), Paraguay (37.2), Central African Republic (35.7).

The Bad – between  2 and 4 times the world average:

Peru (34.8), Mongolia (32.2), Singapore (31.2), Bahrain (30.5), Trinidad & Tobago (29.8), Cameroon (29.5), Congo, Democratic Republic (formerly Zaire) (29.3), Côte d'Ivoire (29.1), Denmark (27.8), Brunei (27.4), Bolivia (27.3), Guatemala (26.9), Belgium (26.3), Ecuador (26.2),  Estonia (25.4), Laos (25.3), Suriname (25.1), Netherlands (24.9), Libya (24.9), Nepal (24.6), Benin (24.5), Angola (23.8), Madagascar (23.7), Argentina (23.7), Uruguay (23.7)*, Luxembourg (23.6), Turkmenistan (23.5), Czech Republic (23.5), Zimbabwe (23.3), Gabon (23.1), Greece (21.9), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (21.5), Cyprus (21.4), Congo, Republic (21.0), Spain (20.9), Finland (20.6), Israel (20.2), Norway (20.1), Colombia (19.8), Namibia (19.8), Mauritania (19.7), South Africa (19.4), Ukraine (19.1), Germany (18.6).

The Good - between 1 and 2 times the world average:

France (17.7), Italy (17.6), Uzbekistan (17.5), Costa Rica (17.1), Sudan (16.8), Saudi Arabia (16.6), Slovenia (16.5), Azerbaijan (16.4), Russia (16.2), Sierra Leone (16.2), Slovakia (15.9), Honduras (15.8), Hungary (15.5), Kazakhstan (15.4), Portugal (15.0), Sweden (15.0), Iran (14.5), Iceland (14.2), Mexico (13.9), Oman (13.8), Malta (13.3), Austria (13.0), Poland (12.9), Jamaica (12.8), Palau (12.8), South Korea (12.7), Guinea (12.5), North Korea (12.1), Bahamas (12.1), Nigeria (11.7), Nauru (11.7), Malawi (11.7), Mali (11.6), Chad (11.6), Taiwan (11.6), Latvia (11.4), Vanuatu (11.1), Switzerland (11.0), Romania (10.9),  Togo (10.9), Japan (10.7), Serbia & Montenegro (10.4), Seychelles (10.2), Bulgaria (10.1), Lebanon (9.8), Syria (9.4), Tanzania (9.3), Turkey (9.2), Barbados (9.1), Jordan (9.1), Occupied State of Palestine (9.1)*, Philippines (9.0), Guinea-Bissau (9.0).

The Very Good - at or below world average (8.9):  

Ghana (8.9), Thailand (8.7), Chile (8.7), Fiji (8.7), Belarus (8.6), Sri Lanka (8.5), Macedonia (8.5), Tonga (7.4), Croatia (7.4), China (7.4), Burkina Faso (7.3), Bosnia & Herzegovina (7.2), Kenya (7.1), Dominican Republic (7.1), Senegal (7.0), Tunisia (7.0), Algeria (6.6), Grenada (6.4), Samoa (6.2), Rwanda (6.1), El Salvador (6.0), Lithuania (5.9), Mozambique (5.8), Lesotho (5.7), Burundi (5.5), Iraq (5.5), Eritrea (5.3), St Kitts & Nevis (5.1), Uganda (5.1), Haiti (5.0), Mauritius (5.0), Albania (4.3), Dominica (4.2), Bhutan (4.1), Niger (4.1), Ethiopia (4.1), Moldova (4.0), Georgia (4.0), Yemen (3.7), Tajikistan (3.7), Afghanistan (3.6), Swaziland (3.6), Cuba (3.5),   Cape Verde (3.5), Kyrgyzstan (3.4), The Gambia (3.0), St Lucia (2.9), Bangladesh (2.7), Egypt (2.6), Niue (2.6), Pakistan (2.5), Morocco (2.5), Djibouti (2.4), St Vincent & Grenadines (2.4), Armenia (2.3), Maldives (2.1), India (2.1), Cook Islands (2.1), Vietnam (1.9), São Tomé and Príncipe (1.9), Comoros (1.6), Solomon Islands (1.4), Kiribati (1.2), Tuvalu (1.2)* (* indicates an estimate based on that for an immediately contiguous, ethnically-related country).


The above analysis lists countries  in order of corrected annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution and readily distinguishes the Very Good (annual per capita  GHG emissions below the world average) from the Good ( 1-2 times greater than the world average), the Bad (2-4 times the world average) and the Ugly (4-41 times greater than the word average). The countries that are merely Good GHG-wise deserve our encouragement but the Bad and Ugly countries merit global blowback via Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

The weak, non-binding  and dishonest Paris Climate Agreement has betrayed our children, grandchildren, future generations, the Developing World, Humanity and the Biosphere – the target of 1.5 to 2 degrees C is both unavoidable and catastrophic and key matters are non-binding.  The Paris betrayal demands a peaceful, world-wide Climate Revolution involving peaceful actions via the ballot box and via  Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all politicians, corporations  and countries disproportionately  involved in ecocidal, speciescidal and terracidal GHG  pollution that amounts to state terrorism, state-sanctioned corporate terrorism and state-sanctioned climate terrorism [6, 7, 8].

The 2009 Report of the German Scientific Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU, Wissenshaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen) entitled “Solving the climate dilemma: the budget approach” crucially stated: “The budget of CO2 emissions still available worldwide could be derived from the 2 degree C guard rail. By the middle of the 21st century a maximum of approximately 750 Gt CO2 (billion metric tons) may be released into the Earth's atmosphere if the guard rail is to be adhered to with a probability of 67%. If we raise the probability to 75%, the cumulative emissions within this period would even have to remain below 600 Gt CO2. In any case, only a small amount of CO2 may be emitted worldwide after 2050. Thus, the era of an economy driven by fossil fuels will definitely have to come to an end within the first half of this century” [9].

The consequences of this declaration of less than 600 Gt CO2 (600 billion tonnes CO2) in emissions for a 75% chance of avoiding a catastrophic 2 degree C temperature rise are profound. Thus, would you board a plane if it had a 25% chance of crashing? Further, the average world population in the period 2010 and 2050 will be 8.321 billion . Accordingly the per capita share of this Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget is less than 600 billion tonnes CO2/8.321 billion people = less than 72.1 tonnes CO2 per person.

Using the above corrected data for the annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that properly accounts for  land use and livestock impacts,  one can determine how many years left at current rates of GHG pollution (in units of CO2-e or CO2-equivalent i.e. taking other GHGs into account) before a given country uses up its “fair share” of this Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget. Thus, for example,  for Australia 72.1 tonnes CO2-e per person / 52.9 tonnes CO2-e  per person per year  = 1.4 years left relative to 2010,  noting that this analysis does not take into account historical pollution of the atmosphere. Thus Australia used up its “fair share” of the world's Terminal Carbon Pollution in 2011 and since then has been stealing the entitlement of the other countries which have not yet used up their entitlement.  

Indeed the whole world is very close to using up its Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget. Thus years left before the world uses up this budget =  72.1 tonnes CO2 per person/ 8.9 tonnes CO2-e per person per year = 8.1 years relative to 2010 and thus only about 2 years relative to 2016. We are badly running out of time to deal with man-made climate change, and sensible, humane, science-informed people can (a) inform everyone they can about the corrected annual per capita GHG pollution data presented here, and (b) urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all people, politicians, parties, companies, corporations  and countries disproportionately  involved in the  greenhouse gas pollution that so acutely threatens Humanity and the Biosphere.


[1]. Robert Goodland and Jeff Anfang. “Livestock and climate change. What if the key actors in climate change are … cows, pigs and chickens?”, World Watch, November/December 2009: http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Livestock%20and%20Climate%20Change.pdf .

[2]. Drew T. Shindell , Greg Faluvegi, Dorothy M. Koch ,   Gavin A. Schmidt ,   Nadine Unger and Susanne E. Bauer , “Improved Attribution of Climate Forcing to Emissions”, Science, 30 October 2009:
Vol. 326 no. 5953 pp. 716-718: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/326/5953/716 .

[3]. “List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita .

[4]. European Commission, “CO2 time series 1990-2013 per capita for world countries”,  Emission Database for Global  Atmospheric Research (EDGAR): http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=CO2ts_pc1990-2013 .

[5]. “List of countries by greenhouse gas emissions per capita”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita .

[6]. Gideon Polya, “Paris Climate Agreement Betrays Humanity Which Must Apply Boycotts, Divestment And Sanctions (BDS) Against Climate Criminal People, Corporations & Countries”, Countercurrents, 14 December, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya141215.htm .

[7]. “Stop state terrorism” : https://sites.google.com/site/stopstateterrorism/  .

[8]. "State crime and non-state terrorism": https://sites.google.com/site/statecrimeandnonstateterrorism/  

[9]. WBGU, “Solving the climate dilemma: the budget approach”, 2009:  http://www.wbgu.de/fileadmin/templates/dateien/veroeffentlichungen/sondergutachten/sn2009/wbgu_sn2009_en.pdf .

Dr Gideon Polya has been teaching science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine ). When words fail one can say it in pictures - for images of Gideon Polya's huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/




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