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Global Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions

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Since 1751 approximately 374 billion metric tonnes of carbon have been released to the atmosphere from the consumption of fossil fuels and cement production. Half of these fossil-fuel CO2 emissions have occurred since the mid 1980s. The 2011 global fossil-fuel carbon emission estimate, 9449 million metric tons of carbon, represents an all-time high and a 3.4% increase over 2010 emissions. The increase continues a quick recovery from the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis which had obvious short-term economic and energy use consequences, particularly in North America and Europe.

Globally, liquid and solid fuels accounted for 75.5% of the emissions from fossil-fuel burning and cement production in 2011. Combustion of gas fuels (e.g., natural gas) accounted for 18.6% (1760 million metric tons of carbon) of the total emissions from fossil fuels in 2011 and reflects a gradually increasing global utilization of natural gas. Emissions from cement production (491 million metric tons of carbon in 2011) have more than doubled since the late 1990s and now represent 5.2% of global CO2 releases from fossil-fuel burning and cement production. Gas flaring, which accounted for roughly 2% of global emissions during the 1970s, now accounts for less than 1% of global fossil-fuel releases.

CITE AS: Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres. 2015. Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2015