Revised 19 January 2023



  • The richest 10% of people in the world in 2015 were responsible for 49% of CO2 emissions while the poorest 50% of people in the world were responsible for only around 10%.

  • The world average CO2e emissions in 2019 was 6.6 tonnes per capita compared to the average of 20.8 tonnes per capita in North America.

  • North America and Europe combined were responsible for almost 50% of all historical greenhouse gas compared to 11% for China.If historical responsibilities were taken into account, then many high-income nations would have no carbon budget left.

  • Close to 50% of all emissions in 2019 were created by just 10% of the global population.

  • In 2019, the top 10% by income group in the United States emitted almost 8 times as much tonnes of CO2e per capita than the bottom 50%.Social inequalities within countries in previous years were, on average, lower across the globe than they are today.

  • Global carbon inequalities are mainly due to inequality within countries.

  • Domestic emissions inequalities now account for nearly two thirds of global emissions inequality.

  • Inequality between countries still exists, but there are now even greater inequalities within countries which have serious ramifications if we are to have any success in mitigating the impact of climate change.

  • All actions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions involve reductions in consumption. Those on low incomes have less ability to further reduce their carbon footprints than those on higher incomes.

  • The United States pledge amounts to a 53% reduction by 2030 of its 2019 per capita emissions. This equates to an average target emission of 3.0 tonnes of CO2e per capita by 2030.

  • The bottom half of the population in the United States is already 3% below the target.

  • The middle 40% and top 10% would need to reduce the CO2e emissions by 54% and 87% respectively to achieve the target of 3.0 tonnes of CO2e emissions by 2030.

  • The bottom 50% of other rich countries are already below a 2030 target of 3.0 tonnes of CO2e per capita, or close to it.