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Infographic: Forget China, Who Are Really the World's Worst Carbon Polluters? Infographic: Forget China, Who Are Really the World's Worst Carbon Polluters?

Infographic: Forget China, Who Are Really the World's Worst Carbon Polluters?

by Ben Jervey

February 22, 2011

Probably the most common refrain you here from anyone arguing against the United States agreeing to significant emissions reductions is, "what about China and India?" China is, after all, now the world's largest total emitter of carbon dioxide emissions.

But that's not the most important emissions metric we should be focusing on. Per capita carbon emissions is a much more telling statistic. Sure, China emits the most total tons of carbon dioxide, because it also has the largest population. On a per capita basis, even rapidly developing nations like China and India have a long way to go to catch up with long industrialized nations like the United States and those in Western Europe.

Designer Stanford Kay laid the two metrics side by side in a great and revealing infographic on Miller-McCune.

As Kay (who granted us permission to run the graphic here) writes, "it’s clear there is plenty of room for other, smaller countries to reduce their per capita contributions to a problem that threatens all."

Click on the image or this link to open the original PDF from Miller-McCune. Or find more of Kay's information graphic design work on his site.

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