How many carbon emissions are generated when producing one unit of GDP?

*Including Taiwan and Macau, excluding Hong Kong


In 2006 in Ukraine almost 3 kg of carbon emissions were generated just to produce one US$ of GDP. On the contrary, in Egypt only 15.5 g were emitted. That is a consequence of the energy mix and the energy intensity (the amount of energy used to produce one unit of GDP). When the energy mix is mostly supplied by carbon or fuel powered stations emissions are higher, and when renewables, much cleaner,  play a greater role in the energy mix emissions are lower. Egypt is producing 4 GWh of renewable energy more than Ukraine each year, and its energy consumption it’s much lower, so the contribution of renewables to the energy mix is greater, and thus cleaner. By the way, both have the same GDP.

United States is, by far, the largest consumer of energy in the world. It consumes 30% more energy than China althought it hosts a fifth of China’s population. China produces each year more than 600,000 GWh of renewable energy, much more than the USA (356,000 GWh). Currently China is the largest carbon emitter in the world (it emits just 6% more GHG than the USA). So, why is USA’s carbon emission intensity much much lower in the USA than China’s? Because the GDP of the USA is 5 times higher than China’s.

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