According to 2006 data, the U.S. accounts for 20% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. The highest contributors are the transportation sector and fossil fuel power plants.
That isn’t a completely accurate portrayal of the emissions problem. There are more greenhouse gases than just CO2 that need to be taken into account. “Although methane emissions are lower than CO2 emissions, methane’s footprint is large: in a 100-year time span it is considered to be twenty-one times more effective than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere and is responsible for about 10 percent of the warming caused by U.S. emissions.” (First link) Nitrous Oxide is another emission that produces a disproportionately larger effect than CO2.
In terms of total greenhouse gas emissions, the US is ranked as the 7th biggest polluting nation in the world, without land use change being factored in. The US also produces 24.09 CO2e per person, CO2e is a measure of CO2 concentration. By this measure the US ranks as number 2 in the world, Australia is number 1 by this measure.
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