It can be hard to visualize the modern environmental situation if you do not know about the negative impacts of carbon emissions. The fact is that carbon footprints of people, companies and countries are growing all the time. These frightening, eye-opening statistics give a snapshot of just how big and bad the problem has become.
- America is a Huge Polluter
According to 2015 statistics from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, the United States is the second largest contributor to global CO2 emissions at 16%. China is responsible for 28% of the problem, and another 26% can be attributed to the European Union, India, the Russian Federation and Japan.
- Daily Activities and Modern Conveniences Contribute to Carbon Emissions
The electricity and heat that we take for granted contributes 25% of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and f-gases, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They also note that 24% of emissions can be attributed to the agriculture and forestry industries.
- Emissions Have Shot up Over the Last 40 Years
While global greenhouse gas emissions have been rising since 1900, there has been a considerable uptick since 1970. According to research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change there has been a 90% increase in harmful, polluting fossil fuel emissions since that year.
- There May Still Be Hope
While global carbon emissions are still growing, that growth has recently slowed. According to research from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, the rate that carbon emissions are increasing at has slowed for three consecutive years.
Despite the recent slowing growth of carbon emissions, people should remember that the fight to protect the environment is not over. The same research that noted the slowed growth also noted that 2014 emissions hit a record of 35.7 billion tons. Take these statistics as a wake-up call to start making environmentally friendly lifestyle changes today.