Though some people believe that climate change is a hoax, there must be a reason Alaska recently set an all-time high temperature for December and there was a recent mountain blizzard in Hawaii. The two events are the most modest examples of how quickly the climate has changed. The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet will raise ocean levels rapidly over the next several decades.
Among the most important initiatives to help reverse, or at least halt, the damage that humans have done to the environment are those by the world’s largest nations, which have the capacity, via laws and regulations, to cut the pollution caused by their businesses and populations.
To determine the country decreasing emissions the fastest, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from The Global Carbon Project, published annually by the Integrated Carbon Observation System, a community of more than 500 scientists, and from the International Energy Agency (IEA) GHG Emissions from Energy 2021 Edition report. Countries were ranked by total CO2 emissions change from 2010 to 2020 using data from the Global Carbon Project.
Data on CO2 emissions change from 1971 to 2020 and total emissions by country are also from the Global Carbon Project. Data on change in CO2 emissions per capita and GHG emissions are from the IEA report.
Ever since the Paris Agreement, countries around the world have directed efforts to address the climate change threat. More than 200 countries agreed to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to try and keep global warming below two degrees Celsius, compared with temperatures before the Industrial Revolution.
Yet not everyone believes nations are moving fast enough. Climate scientists, legal experts and politicians said agreements at the Glasgow conference did not go far enough to address the climate threat. Dissatisfaction with the pace of progress manifested itself in France when a French court this past February convicted the French government of failing to show enough progress in meeting its legally binding emission reduction targets.
The country decreasing emissions the fastest is Yemen. Here are the details:
- Total CO2 emissions change 2010 to 2020: −57.81%
- Total CO2 emissions change 1971 to 2020: 395.54% (51st largest increase)
- Total CO2 emissions 2020 in million tons: 9.78 (108th largest)
- CO2 emissions per capita change 2010 to 2019: −65.98% (largest decline)
- Total GHG emissions change 2010 to 2019: −66.52% (largest decline)
This nation on the Arabian Peninsula led all nations (145 with data) in the percentage of emissions reduction for GHG and for CO2.