Interactive map: Historical emissions around the world

Which country is most responsible for climate change? It’s a big question, with weighty consequences for decisions on who should take the lead in tackling the rise in emissions.

Finding a way to recognise different responsibilities between developed and developing countries was one of the keys to unlocking the historic Paris Agreement, sealed late last Saturday.

To shed a bit more light on historical responsibility for emissions, Aurélien Saussay, an economist at the French Economic Observatory, has put together the interactive map above.

It combines year-by-year CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and cement with gridded population data (laid out on a map). You can read Saussay’s methodology by following the tab in the interactive.

Here’s a timelapse video by Saussay showing where emissions have come from historically, and how cumulative emissions have built up over time.