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Global Carbon Budget
Summary Highlights

industrial chimneys

Emissions from fossil fuels and industry

Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry have increased every decade from an average of 11.4 GtCO2 in the 1960s to an average of 34.7±2 yr-1 during 2009-2018. Emissions in 2018 reached a new record high of 36.6±2 GtCO2 with a share of coal (40%), oil (34%), gas (20%), cement (4%), and flaring (1%). Global emissions in 2019 are projected to increase by an additional 0.6% (-0.2% to +1.5%), a slower growth than in the past two years.

world showing Asia

Regional fossil fuel emissions

In 2018, global CO2 emissions were dominated by emissions from China (28%), the USA (15%), the EU (28-member states; 9%) and India (7%). Growth rates of these countries from 2017 to 2018 were +2.3% for China, +2.8% for the USA, -2.1% for the EU28, and +8.0% for India. The per-capita CO2 emissions in 2018 were 4.8 tCO2 tonnes of carbon person-1yr-1 for the globe, 16.6 tCO2 for the USA, 7.0 tCO2 for China, 6.9 tCO2 for the EU28, and 2.0 tCO2 for India.
The 2019 growth rate projections are +2.6% (+0.7 to +4.4%) for China, -1.7% (-3.7 to +0.3) for the U.S.A, -1.7% (-3.4 to +0.1%) for EU28, and +1.8% (+0.7 to +3.7%) for India.

logged forest

Emissions from land use change

Net CO2 emissions from deforestation and other land-use change were 5.5±2.7 GtCO2 on average during 2009-2018, accounting for about 14% of all emissions from human activity (fossil fuel, industry, land use change).

Together, land use change, fossil fuel and industry emissions, reached 42.1±2.8 GtCO2 in 2018. The 2019 projections is for a total CO2 emissions of 43.1 GtCO2 (39.9 to 46.2).

ocean waves

CO2 removals by natural sinks

Of the total emissions from human activities during the period 2009-2018, about 45% accumulated in the atmosphere, 23% in the ocean and 29% on land. During this period, the size of the natural sinks grew in response to the increasing emissions, though year-to-year variability of that growth is large. The total estimated sources do not match the total estimated sinks by about 4%, i.e., the carbon imbalance. This imbalance reflects the gap in our understanding and results from the uncertainties from all budget components.

Sun, Sky and clouds

Atmospheric CO2

Atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 407.4 parts per million in 2018 on average, and is projected to increase by 2.2 ppm in 2019 (+1.8 to +2.6 ppm) to reach 410 ppm averaged over the year.
Atmospheric CO2 concentration in 2019 are 47% above pre-industrial levels.

The growth rate in atmospheric CO2 concentration in 2019 is near the average of the past decade because of the return to El Nino neutral conditions, but above the previous decades because of rising CO2 emissions.


Cumulative Carbon Emissions

The cumulative carbon emissions are the sum of the total CO2 emitted during a given period of time. Total cumulative emissions from 1850 to 2019 were 1649 GtCO2 from fossil fuels and industry, and 751 GtCO2 from land use change. The total of 2,400±238 GtC of emissions was partitioned among the atmosphere 953±18 GtCO2, ocean 586±73 GtCO2, and the land 733±147 GtCO2.