Carbon footprints

A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment. It calculates all the greenhouse gases we are expected to produce in all our activities and measures them in units of carbon dioxide. The world average is about 4,000 kg of carbon dioxide per person. In the UK it is nearly 10,000 kg per person.

Graphic of different contributors to a personal carbon footprint in the UKCarbon Trust, 2006

As a country develops, its carbon footprint tends to increase. This pattern is shown in the table below, with MEDCs emitting the most carbon dioxide.

Country19902006
Australia17.418.1
United States19.019.0
Germany12.19.7
Japan9.510.1
Italy7.58.1
United Kingdom10.09.4
Singapore15.612.8
United Arab Emirates29.432.8
Qatar25.256.2
Brazil1.41.9
Thailand1.84.3
Egypt1.42.2
South Africa9.18.6
Kenya0.20.3
Bangladesh0.10.3
Ethiopia0.10.1
Sierra Leone0.10.2
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