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Interactive Map: Find Out Which Country Is Most Responsible for Climate Change

Which country is most responsible for climate change? It’s a big question, with weighty consequences for decisions on who should take the lead in tackling the rise in emissions.

Finding a way to recognize different responsibilities between developed and developing countries was one of the keys to unlocking the historic Paris Agreement, which was sealed late last Saturday.

Click on map to view interactive map.

To shed a bit more light on historical responsibility for emissions, Aurélien Saussay, an economist at the French Economic Observatory, has put together the interactive map above.

It combines year-by-year CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and cement with gridded population data. You can read Saussay’s methodology by following the tab in the interactive.

Here’s a time lapse video by Saussay showing where emissions have historically come from and how cumulative emissions have built up over time:

The emissions data comes from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. It excludes other greenhouse gases and emissions associated with land use change and forestry.

It’s also worth noting that the data coverage varies by country. It goes back all the way to 1751 for the UK, with Germany from 1792, the U.S. from 1800, India from 1858 and China from 1899.

The gridded population data is from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

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