Climate change is a threat to our society that requires international cooperation – reducing the CO2 emissions of one nation is pointless if a larger state fails to regulate carbon-heavy industry.
Previous international agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol, have failed to secure the agreement of a number of large economies, and as such have, to a certain extent, failed to encourage a uniform and enduring change of practices.
This infographic highlights 18 of the world’s most carbon-heavy economies, charting their emissions from 1980 to 2010. It offers a worrying demonstration that the slow reduction in CO2 by nations such as the UK will have negligible global impact.
The sheer scale of the USA’s industrial footprint, combined with rapid expansion of new superpowers such as China and India, emphasise the apparent futility of steady carbon reduction in large parts of Europe. The impact of nations with an economy entirely based on the power of fossil fuels, such as oil-rich Saudi Arabia, also contributes to a somewhat defeating picture.
This visualisation presents its evidence simply and effectively – when data is constructed with clarity, the evidence can support a strong call for action. In this case, the visualisation demonstrates the need for greater diplomatic efforts to bring the US and the developing superpowers into the heart of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.