Per-capita carbon emissions
The evolution of carbon emissions for a few select countries. Some arbitrary observations and random wild guesses:
- UK was far ahead of the curve in carbon emissions as being the proto-industrial country. There didn't seem to have been much of a visible post-war boom - or maybe covered up by a decrease in usage of inefficient coal burning? The de-industrialization since the 80ies might also have led to a decrease in carbon emissions.
- The US has long been a class on its own when it comes to per-capita carbon emissions! What did cause the dip in the late 70ies early 80ies? The shock of the oil crisis? Pollution standards for the card industry? The success of imported Japanese cards and the decline of "land-yacht" classical American cars? And what happened after that? Fracking and SUVs? The drop since 2000 might coincide with rapid de-industrialization and the shift of manufacturing to China.
- Germany is an example of a large western economy that has resisted de-industrialization more than US or UK. Yet there is still a steady decline since the oil crisis in the last 70ies.
- India and China have both been booming and growing richer fast as part of the neo-liberal globalization since the end of the cold war with corresponding increases in carbon emissions. While China has been focusing on manufacturing, India has been leap-frogging into a more service oriented post-industrial economy with a lower carbon footprint.
- Switzerland (along with Sweden) is one of the most carbon efficient highly developed economies and at this point below the world average in per-capita carbon emissions. This probably does not account for the import of carbon intensive manufactured goods. Switzerland has to import all fossil fuels and the only domestic energy source is hydro-power. The economy is focused on high value-add niches in both manufacturing and service industries which are more capital and skilled-labor than energy intensive. The rate of decline in carbon emission is slower than for comparably developed economies.https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissions#per-capita-co2-emissions
Reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions is one of the greatest challenges of this century. How are emissions changing over time? How are they distributed across the world? Which countries are doing well and poorly in decarbonization? See global and country-level data on CO₂ emissions.ourworldindata.org