United States – per capita Fossil CO2 Emissions and Climate Debt

United States – per capita Fossil CO2 Emissions and Climate Debt


The current Climate Breakdown Pricing of the United States amounts to $30.82 per tons Fossil CO2 emitted since 2000. The Climate Debt grew from $5,497 per capita in 2015 to $10,718 in 2020. Updated Rankings of 165 countries are available in the menu “Climate Debt”.

The following diagrams expose the trends of Fossil CO2 Emissions, Climate Debt, GDP(ppp-$) and Nuclear Power.

The first diagram shows the Fossil CO2 Emissions per capita annually between 2000 and 2018. The green bars show the Free Emissions Level. The gap between the green and the black line is the calculation bases of the Climate Debt. The reduction rate of the United States is far from adequate.

The second diagram shows Fossil CO2 Emissions in tons per capita in decades. Again, the green bars show the Free Emission Level. The grey bars are World Fossil CO2 Emissions average.

The third diagram shows the Climate Debt as ‘Share of global Climate Debt‘ in 2010, 2015 and 2020, of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The fourth diagram shows the ‘per capita Climate Debt‘ trends between 2010 and 2020, with World average set at 1, of the United States and five English-speaking or neighboring countries: Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico and Guatemala. The per capita Climate Debt of The United States is now larger than Canada’s.

The next diagram shows per capita GDP(ppp-$) of the same six countries and World average. The United States is a rich superpower with primary responsibility for the Climate Breakdown.

In the calculation of Climate Debt the unacceptable Nuclear Power is converted into CO2 Emissions as if the electric power was produced with oil. As a consequence, Nuclear Power must be phased out at the same rate as Fossil CO2 Emissions.


Updated data and diagrams of all ‘Indicators‘ and all countries in ClimatePositions are available in the sub-menu ‘Calculations (Excel)‘.
Data on Fossil CO2 Emissions (excluding international shipping and aviation) including industrial processes (cement, steel, liming, etc.) are from EDGAR (European Commission) (links in the menu Calculations / Sources & Links). Direct link ‘here‘.
Information on national GDP(ppp-$) per capita: Worldbank (links in the menu Calculations / Sources & Links).
Data on national Nuclear Power generation: World Nuclear Association (links in the menu Calculations / Sources & Links).
Drawing/illustration by Claus Andersen, 2020.

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