The Countries Emitting the Most CO² per Capita


It’s a little-known fact that the countries that currently emit the most CO2 per capita are located on the Arabian Peninsula. Qataris emit just over 37.05 tons per person, in Kuwait it’s 23.5 tons, in the United Arab Emirates 21.6 tons and in Saudi Arabia 19.4 tons. But these countries are not the biggest polluters in absolute figures. Here, China, India and the United States, all three populous nations, carry most of the blame. The importance of the local oil industry in the economies on the Gulf might play a role in explaining these results.

The emittance of CO2 into the air is one of the main causes of global warming. The concentration of CO2 in the global atmosphere remained relatively stable until the industrial revolution at around 200 particles per million. From the 19th century onwards, its density multiplied rapidly, reaching 413 particles per million most recently.


This chart shows per-capita CO² emissions in selected countries.