In 2016, the largest absolute increases in carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions over 2015 were seen in India (+4.7%) and Indonesia (+6.4%), according to a September 2017 report by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, a research institute.

In contrast, the largest emitting countries/regions showed a decrease; most notably the United States (-2.0%), the Russian Federation (-2.1%), Brazil (-6.1%), China (-0.3%), and United Kingdom (-6.4%).


Source: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency Note: These changes do not include net emissions from land use, land-use change and forestry

In 2016, the five largest emitting countries (USA, China, India, Russia, Japan) and the European Union, which together account for 51% of the world population and 65% of global gross domestic product, accounted for 68% of total global CO2 emissions and about 63% of total global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

Greenhouse gases, which include CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases, trap heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming.

China’s share in global emissions declined from 29% in 2015 to 26% in 2016 while the share of the United States reduced from 14% to 13%. India’s share has remained at 7%.

In 2016, global GHG emissions continued to increase slowly by about 0.5% (±1%). In comparison, there was a 1% increase in 2014, and 0.2% increase in 2015.

The 2016 emission increase was the slowest since the early 1990s, except for the global recession years.

This is mainly the result of lower coal consumption from fuel switches to natural gas and increased renewable power generation, in particular, wind and solar power.

India’s coal consumption increased 4% despite a programme to increase share of renewables in its power mix, the report added.

(Patil is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)