One graphic shows exactly who is responsible for climate change

Nations around the world are trying to come up with plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions before the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris this December, with a goal of trying to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels.

While many scientists think that at least that much of a temperature rise should be expected at this point, if not more, most agree that anything we can do to limit greenhouse gas emissions could help prevent some of the human suffering and instability that will come with the side effects of a warmer planet: rising waters, extreme weather events, and elevated food costs.

After all, the more carbon in the air, the warmer the planet gets.

But where are the greenhouse gases responsible for a warming planet coming from?

The World Resources Institute just released an interactive infographic based on 2012 data that shows exactly what percentage of greenhouse gas emissions top emitters are responsible for. The graphic also breaks down the industries primarily responsible for those emissions.

In the graphic itself, the center circle represents all greenhouse gas emissions. The first ring shows the top 10 emitters compared the rest of the world — as you can see, that group is responsible for almost 75% of greenhouse gas emissions. The next ring breaks emitters down into national entities. China is the biggest gas emitter in the world, followed by the United States. The 28 EU nations are counted as one entity there. Finally, the outer ring breaks down emissions for each national entity into the industry responsible for those emissions, with energy and agriculture usually responsible for the majority of emissions. 

Check it out here:

The energy sector is responsible for more than 75% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is why moving to more sustainable energy sources is considered essential if we want to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

For more climate data, check out the WRI’s new Climate Data Explorer.

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