How have global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) changed over time?
In this chart we see the growth of global emissions from the mid-18th century through to today.
We see that prior to the Industrial Revolution, emissions were very low. Growth in emissions was still relatively slow until the mid-20th century. In 1950 the world emitted 6 billion tonnes of CO2.
By 1990 this had almost quadrupled to 22 billion tonnes. Emissions have continued to grow rapidly; we now emit over 36 billion tonnes each year.
Emissions growth has slowed over the last few years, but they have yet to reach their peak.