The Kyoto Protocol was the first serious effort to not only acknowledging a role of humans in global warming, but to also implement measures to reducing this impact. Since then, carbon emissions have been rising constantly, largely fuelled by considerable economic growth. When looking at where most changes took place between 1990 and 2015, mostly the emerging economies have contributed much to the recent increases in carbon emissions. Other parts of the world, first and foremost much of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Russia, have seen considerable declines. This is attributed to the fall of the iron curtain and a process of deindustrialisation of the most polluting industries there, that were less so down to political commitments to reducing carbon emissions than results of an economic transition. Looking at the changes rather than the total emissions – which put the industrialised world much more prominently on the map – highlights the difficulties in coming to international agreements to tackling climate change.
Read more about this map in our blog