1: Chinese Emissions of Heat-Trapping Gases

China leads the world in annual emissions of heat-trapping gases. In 2021, China’s emissions of roughly 14.1 Gt CO2e were approximately 28% of the global total. 1

This chapter starts by examining China’s emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heattrapping gases. The chapter then discusses uncertainties in estimates of Chinese emissions, compares leading research organizations’ estimates of Chinese emissions for each of the past 10 years, and considers implications of China’s emissions for the global carbon budget.


Climate Action Tracker-China (May 2022 update) (China’s 2021 emissions = 14.1 GtCO2e); Climate Action Tracker–Global Temperatures (November 2021 update) (global 2021 emissions = 50-51 GtCO2e). See also Jos Olivier, Trends in Global CO2 and Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (April 2022) at p.33 (China’s 2020 emissions = 14.3 GtCO2e).

Guide to Chinese Climate Policy