This interactive chart shows the breakdown of global CO2 emissions by region.

We see that until well into the 20th century, global emissions were dominated by Europe and the United States. In 1900, more than 90% of emissions were produced in Europe or the US; even by 1950, they accounted for more than 85% of emissions each year.

But in recent decades this has changed significantly.

In the second half of the 20th century, we see a significant rise in emissions in the rest of the world, particularly across Asia, and most notably, China.

The US and Europe now account for just under one-third of emissions.

In 2010-2019 average annual global greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history, but the rate of growth has slowed. Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C is beyond reach. However, there is increasing evidence of climate action, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today.

Since 2010, there have been sustained decreases of up to 85% in the costs of solar and wind energy, and batteries. An increasing range of policies and laws have enhanced energy efficiency, reduced rates of deforestation and accelerated the deployment of renewable energy.

“We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. We have the tools and know-how required to limit warming,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.  “I am encouraged by climate action being taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving effective.  If these are scaled up and applied more widely and equitably, they can support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation.”

We have options in all sectors to at least halve emissions by 2030

Limiting global warming will require major transitions in the energy sector. This will involve a substantial reduction in fossil fuel use, widespread electrification, improved energy efficiency, and use of alternative fuels (such as hydrogen).

While reducing CO₂ production through renewable energy and sustainable practices is essential, it alone cannot tackle the current CO₂ levels.

This is where carbon capture steps in. By taking CO₂ from the atmosphere and safely storing it, we actively reverse the process contributing to climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, carbon capture strategies are indispensable for achieving our climate targets.

There are various approaches to carbon capture, ranging from tech-oriented solutions to nature-based methods.

Nature-based solutions tap into the power of photosynthesis, where plants absorb CO₂ and release oxygen. However, deforestation limits this natural process, necessitating human intervention.

Tech-oriented solutions involve capturing CO₂ directly from sources or from the atmosphere, offering business opportunities and the potential for innovative materials.