Climate change is recognized as a significant issue for people's lives and economic well-being worldwide. Since greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are associated with climate change, many countries have been making efforts to regulate and limit them. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries pledged to advance climate change mitigation by committing to national GHG reduction targets. In 2015, the countries submitted their first national strategies, known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs, for reducing their share of greenhouse gases by 2030.

The data visualizations below explore GHG emission reductions from 1990 to the present, as well as potential future reductions based on countries' current NDCs.

  • Since 1990, the most significant reductions in GHG emissions have been achieved by the United Kingdom (40.9% decline), Russia (30.9%), and the EU-27 (22.1%). Emissions cuts in the UK and European Union (27) were driven by decarbonization of the energy sector, improving energy efficiency, and structural changes in the economy that shifted energy-intensive industries to the developing world and increased of service-based sectors in GDP. In Russia, GHG emissions declined due to the deep economic crisis of the 1990s that induced industries to close down or substantially reduce output. By the early 2000s, emissions had dropped more than 40% from 1990 levels.
  • Comparing current emissions with 2005 levels, the standout leaders are the UK and Brazil, which have succeeded in decreasing emissions by 30%. The European Union (27) has reduced its emissions by 16% since 2005, while Russia's emissions, in contrast, have grown by 23%.
  • According to the most recently submitted NDCs, the most ambitious goals in emissions reduction by 2030 belong to the UK, the EU-27, and Australia, followed by Brazil and the United States. The Russian NDC reflects a goal to stabilization of emissions on the 70% of 1990 level, or an increase of 12% compared to the 2015 level. Indonesia, according to its latest NDC of 2016, expects a decrease in emissions at 1.6% below 2015 levels (or an increase of almost 64% over 2005). In the best-case scenario, including international support, Indonesia expects to reduce emissions up to 18% below 2015 levels (a 36% rise over 2005).

 

This dashboard contains data on 10 major economies, 7 of which top the list of the largest GHG emitters on the planet. The proposed actions of these countries will largely determine the extent of future GHG emissions reductions and whether they meet the aims of the Paris Agreement.

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