This interactive chart shows the year-on-year growth rate in global CO2 emissions.
A positive figure in a given year indicates that emissions were higher than the previous year. A negative figure indicates they were lower than the year before. For example, a change of 1.5% indicates that global emissions were 1.5% higher than the previous year [–1.5% would mean they were 1.5% lower].
This measure allows us to see the rate at which emissions are changing – whether the growth in global emissions are slowing down or accelerating.
Here you will see that there can be significant year-to-year variability, creating a ‘noisy’ time series. This was particularly true in the first half of the 20th century, where economic output was greatly impacted by key global events (we see large reductions around the World Wars, for example).
In more recent years we see more consistent year-on-year growth averaging around 2% – 3% per year, but still with significant variability. Again, we see the impact of key economic events – the 2008 Financial Crisis resulted in a fall in emissions the following year.
Over the past few years, emissions have continued to rise but at a slightly slower rate of 0.5% – 2%.