Did you know fizz in soda drinks, sparkling wines, and some beers come from dissolved carbon dioxide?

Even with the air, we breathe and the beer we drink, carbon dioxide is used in many ways. Carbon dioxide is an unscented gas that is an essential component of the Earth. 

Carbon dioxide is also referred to as a greenhouse gas since it can ‘trap’ heat. Carbon dioxide’s excessive concentration can interrupt the natural temperature in the atmosphere, which leads to global warming.

Like two faces of a coin, Carbon dioxide has its good side, as well as a wrong side. The increased concentration of Carbon dioxide has occurred due to the industrial revolution and growth in manufacturing activities worldwide.

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are recommended to use against electrical fires; water-damaged electrical equipment. 0.05% of the Earth’s atmosphere is carbon dioxide, which doesn’t look like a considerable number. 

Still, we must reduce carbon dioxide production so that Earth doesn’t become like Venus trapped in greenhouse gases.

The responsibility of balancing carbon dioxide is shared between regions, countries, and individuals. The following is the list of the countries that are producing the most carbon dioxide in the world.

Table of Contents

1. China 

China - Carbon dioxide emission
Factory at Jilin Dalu, China (source)

China is ranked as the number one discharger of carbon dioxide gas in the world. China releases more CO2 than the entire developed countries combined.

The research by Rhodium Group says China emitted 27% of the world’s greenhouse gases in 2019. Fossil fuels, notably coal burning, are the primary source of carbon dioxide in China. 

China, recognized as Asia’s economic giant, is one of the largest oil importers, making it a smoking discharger. China is a densely populated country, and its per-person greenhouse gas emissions have risen in recent decades.

China intends to reduce its coal usage and pollution in major cities by generating more electricity from nuclear, natural gas, and renewable energy sources.

2. The United States 

USA - carbon dioxide emission
Smoke emission near Charlotte Douglas Airport, USA (source)

The second-largest producer of Carbon dioxide is the U.S. The United States will produce 4.57 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020.

There was a dramatic decline in carbon dioxide in 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19, which massively affected the travel and industry sectors. 

The most significant origins of Carbon dioxide (CO2) discharger in the U.S. came from industry and transportation. U.S citizens are dependent on their cars as their prime means of transport, which contributes to Carbon dioxide production through gasoline and diesel. 

The U.S. was the largest Carbon dioxide producer until China took over the top spot in 2006. The U.S has a substantial number of industries that burn fossil fuels for energy. 

3. India 

India - carbon dioxide emission
A game of cricket during harsh air quality in Delhi (source)

The third most carbon dioxide-producing country is India. The burning of solid fuels rapidly increased since Indian urbanization and industrialization began. 

75% of India’s electricity is still generated from fossil fuels which means the country has one of the world’s filthiest electricity systems.

Although the power sector has contributed the largest to greenhouse gas emissions, its oil consumption and industry have also seen significant Carbon dioxide. 

The economy of India is expected to increase its dependency on coal. India’s Carbon dioxide production is only jumping in the future.

4. Russia 

Russia - carbon dioxide emission
Smoke from the factory of Bratsk, Russia (source)

The fourth-largest country producing carbon dioxide is Russia, with 1.71 billion metric tons in 2018. Russia relied heavily over the past 25 years on natural gas like coal for electricity production and is also a significant contributor to Russia’s CO2 emissions. 

Russia has one of the most considerable natural gas accumulation globally, and natural gas is the country’s primary source of energy and power generator. 

Russia is the sixth-largest coal-producing nation globally. Coal production accelerated by 70% since the late 1990s to 373 million metric tons in 2015.

The population of Russia has reduced by 2.8% compared to 25 years ago. This stat makes Russia one of the few countries on the list with population decline since 1992.

5. Japan 

Foggy dawn in Japan (source)

The fifth one on the list of most Carbon dioxide producers, Japan produced 1.16 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2018.

Japan’s carbon dioxide emissions rose in the three years following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, reaching 1,314 million metric tons of CO2 in 2013. 

Japan is enormously dependent on burning natural gas and coal to generate electricity for its population and various industries. After the shut down of nuclear reactors in Fukushima in 2011, the dependence on fossil fuels increased even more.

Since then, the emission has been reduced as well. However, the emissions have been reduced as the country has increased its use of renewables.

Japan is still dependent on oil and is criticized for its encouragement of coal and technology to reduce CO2 emissions from coal. Japan’s reopening of the nuclear power plants may stabilize its carbon dioxide production.

6. Germany 

Germany - Carbon dioxide emission
Sunrise and Factory smoke together in Germany (source)

The sixth on our list is Germany. Germany has significantly shown progress in carbon reduction and has reduced its carbon dioxide output by over 17% between 1992 and 2016. Germany has planned on reducing CO2 production. 

The CO2 emissions from most countries on this list have increased massively between 1992 and 2017; Germany has declined CO2 emissions by 17.3%. The government is dependent on coal. 

Germany targets to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2045. It has set the targets of cutting emissions by at least 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 and 88 percent by 2040.

7. South Korea 

Air pollution in Seoul, South Korea (source)

South Korea is the seventh country to produce the most global carbon dioxide. Korea is dwarfed by its neighbors China and Japan, who are Asia’s economic giants and top carbon dioxide emitters.

Korea’s economic growth has also increased in the past decades and has a significant carbon dioxide impact. However, Korea has a small population but still produces a substantial amount of carbon dioxide.

Koreans’ economy and GDP have been increasing. CO2 emissions skyrocketed between 1992 and 2017, as the high number of cars on the road required more energy.

Nuclear is the only low-carbon energy source in South Korea, with renewables barely reducing its power supply.

8. Iran 

Iran - carbon dioxde emission
A foggy evening in Tehran, Iran (source)

In the eighth position, we have Iran. Iran is rich in reserves of oil and gas. Iran’s carbon emissions skyrocketed between 1990 and 2015, rising by 5% annually, whereas the global average for the same period was 2.3%.

The sanction has considerably affected Iran’s economy and disrupted oil exports. Due to the mismanagement, Iran has faced various environmental issues like air pollution and dust storms.

However, the government has shown progress in the green economy. Years of wiping out by international sanctions shook Iran’s economy despite the increasing use of fossil fuels. Iran has planned to slash its emissions by 4% by 2030.

9. Canada 

Canada - carbon dioxide emission
Factory building with smoke emissions at Canada (source)

The ninth on our list is Canada. Canada has a vast network of hydroelectric dams and nuclear plants, which provide most of its power.

However, Canada has been slow in adopting other forms of low-carbon energy. The government has failed to meet the nation’s climate goal.

Canadians are more conscious of the threat posed by climate change as they face fires and floods. Oil and gas are Canada’s most significant carbon Oxide generating sector.

10. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia - carbon dioxide emission
Dense smoke from Saudi oil factory (source)

The tenth country on our list is Saudi Arabia, rich in oil and gaining most of its income from the oil sector. The economy and the population of Saudi Arabia skyrocketed between 1992 and 2017.

With the skyrocketing economy came skyrocketing carbon dioxide release. Saudi Arabia is the world’s most significant oil producer, so it’s no surprise that oil and gas provide nearly all of the country’s energy.

Saudi Arabia’s CO2 emissions climbed from 47 million tonnes in 1970 to 614.6 million tonnes in 2019, expanding at a 5.85 percent yearly pace.


Carbon dioxide content provides a tremendous economic benefit to global crop production. However, Carbon dioxide production is also the primary source that impacts global climate change

The increasing rate of carbon dioxide creates an excess of greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. This trapped carbon dioxide leads to melting ice caps, and rising ocean levels cause flooding. So you can say balance is needed in Carbon dioxide production. 

The rising carbon dioxide and global temperatures are causing increasing worldwide distress and pressure to the international law of the atmosphere, yet widespread misconceptions about the greenhouse effect’s inevitability.

(Last Updated on April 21, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Rishu Shakya, a bachelor’s degree graduate in Business Information Management, holds an extraordinary empathy towards mother nature and her ecosystem. She has always been captivated by green Earth and its charm. She regards spreading awareness about clean energy and sustainable development as her passion as well as responsibility. She believes her compassion about the Earth and human relationships will undoubtedly assist our planet to be a better place.