In 2007 US carbon emissions peaked at roughly 6,029 Mt.
We know a lot a how these emissions are generated, and why they have declined since then. But few of us realize where they come from.
The flag image above breaks down America’s carbon emissions in 2007 in terms of where the fossil fuels were originally extracted. It is based on data from a recent paper ‘Climate policy and dependence on traded carbon‘ which tracks the global trade of carbon in the form of fossil fuels and embodied in products.
The flag shows is that about 35% of emissions generated in the US are from carbon that is extracted elsewhere, a lot in the form of oil. In Europe 69% of carbon emissions come from fuels extracted elsewhere. In Japan it is 99%!
To learn more about how carbon moves around the world in fuels and products check our three part series The Carbon Trade.