European Union “east” compared to bordering countries

European Union “east” compared to bordering countries

The ‘European Union’ (EU) is an economic and political partnership between ‘28 countries’. Around 7% of the global population lives in EU and they emit around 12% of the global CO2 from fossil fuels and are responsible of 13% of the Climate Debt in ClimatePositions. The following examines a group of 10 countries in eastern EU which joined the union between 1981 and 2007 in comparison with 8 bordering countries.

The 10 EU countries (with the year of membership in brackets): Greece (1981), Cyprus (2004), Estonia (2004), Hungary (2004), Latvia (2004), Lithuania (2004), Poland (2004), Slovakia (2004), Bulgaria (2007) and  Romania (2007).

The 8 bordering countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

The diagram below show the GDP(ppp-$) per capita of an average country within the two country groups, Russia (the blue line) and the world average. Note that large and small countries count equally within the two country groups (however, this is not the case of the world average). The economic gab in favor of the EU countries (and Russia) has increased continuously during the period. However, this trend started before 2004 where only Greece had joined the EU.

GDP, EU East, bordering and Russia

The diagram below shows the CO2 Emissions per capita in decades of an average country within the two country groups. The 10 EU countries have (in average) reduced emissions slightly since 1990s whereas the 8 bordering countries have increased emissions in recent years. Read about the CO2 Emission ‘reduction targets of the European Union‘.

CO2 in decades, EU east and bordering countries

The diagram below shows the relative Environmental Performance of the two country groups and Russia, with the world average set at 100. The last few years the 10 EU countries have outpaced the others (at a rather low level of performance).

Relative Environmental Performance, EU, bordering and Russia

The last diagram shows the relative Climate Debt per capita of the two country groups and Russia, with the world average set at 100. The growth rate since 2010 of the 8 bordering countries is slightly higher than the one of the 10 EU countries – at a lower level of Climate Debt, though. Among the 18 countries only Albania and Moldova are Contribution Free. Russia’s increase rate is skyrocketing (read this ‘article‘). See the ‘Climate Debt per capita of 147 countries’.

Relative Climate Debt, EU east, bordering and Russia


The total Climate Debt of the European Union is $679 Billion, of which the above analyzed 10 EU countries are responsible of $51 Billion or 8%. The total Climate Debt of the 8 bordering countries is $40 Billion and the one of Russia is $195 Billion. See the total ‘Climate Debt of 147 countries’.

Information on national GDP(ppp-$) per capita: Worldbank (links in the menu “Calculations”).
Source on CO2 Emissions: EIA, U.S. Energy Information Administration and data on preliminary national CO2 Emissions are from Global Carbon Project (links in the menu “Calculations”).
Source on Environmental Performance: Yale and Columbia University reports, published 2006-2014 (links in the menu “Calculations”).
Map (Danish World Atlas) with drawing by Claus Andersen, 2015.

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