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Global Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions

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Since 1751 just over 400 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 late 1980s. The 2014 global fossil-fuel carbon emission estimate, 9855 million metric tons of carbon, represents an all-time high and a 0.8% increase over 2013 emissions. The slight increase continues a three-year trend of modest annual growth under 2% per year. This modest growth comes on the heels of 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 75.1% of the emissions from fossil-fuel burning and cement production in 2014. Combustion of gas fuels (e.g., natural gas) accounted for 18.5% (1823 million metric tons of carbon) of the total emissions from fossil fuels in 2014 and reflects a gradually increasing global utilization of natural gas. Emissions from cement production (568 million metric tons of carbon in 2014) have more than doubled in the last decade and now represent 5.8% 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. 2017. 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_V2017