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Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions from North America

Graph graphic Graphics   Data graphic Data

What countries constitute North America?

North America map


North America, as defined here, consists of the United States and Canada. North America is now the second highest fossil-fuel, CO2 emitting region of the world behind Centrally Planned Asia with 1.70 billion tons of carbon in 2008. This 2008 total for North America is slightly less than the 2005 all-time high (1.74 billion tons of carbon). Because ~91% of current fossil-fuel CO2 emissions from the region are from the United States, the time series for North America closely resembles that for the United States. In addition, the patterns of change for the two countries have been similar in gross features, although they differ in detail because of political and resource differences. In contrast with CO2 emissions from other regions, the striking features are a relatively uniform growth rate from 1950 to 1973 (3.0% per year), an essentially constant rate of emissions from 1973 to 1987, growth during the 1990s peaking in 2005, and relatively constant levels of emissions since 2000. Because of more rapid growth elsewhere, particularly Asia, emissions from North America have shrunk from 46.4% of the global total in 1950 to 20.5% in 2008. Per capita regional emissions have been consistently high and well above those for any other region.

CITE AS: Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres. 2011. 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_V2011