The sectors that most emit and contribute to climate change, in an illustrative graph

In an illustration graph, the sectors that pollute the most and contribute the most to climate change are shown.

Climate change has emerged as one of our generation’s most important political challenges. After years of being pushed to the outside of public discourse, it is now a central issue on political parties’ agendas, whether they advocate palliative measures or oppose economic restructuring to mitigate its impacts. Due to the prominence of the environment on the media agenda, the causes of the crisis, as well as those responsible for it, have been scrutinized.

Of course, this is a difficult assessment. It’s simple to declare that climate change is a crisis that necessitates immediate action. Identifying and implementing them is significantly more complicated. A comprehensive examination of the facts is the first step toward the latter. This graph from Our World in Data, which was created using data from Climate Watch and the World Resources Institute, shows which sectors of the global economy are the most responsible for the planet’s decline.

“Energy” is at the top of the list, a broad semantic container that encompasses a wide range of actors. After one year, its emissions account for 73 percent of global emissions, an unavoidable amount. However, not all activities or businesses are equal in their importance. Industry (24%) accounts for about a quarter of total emissions linked with energy supply, followed by energy used to light or heat buildings (17%) and transportation in general (15%). (16 percent ).

In all three categories, distinctions must be established.

Metallurgy (7.2%) is the most relevant sector within “Industry,” followed by petrochemicals (3.6%) and agri-foodstuffs (3.2%). (just over 1 percent ). “Other industries” account for 10% of the total. Within transportation, however, not all modes are equally important: road transport is the most hazardous (11%) while aviation (1.9%) and sea transport (1.7%) trail behind. As a result, all strategies must be rethought. Automobiles provide a greater threat than airplanes, which have been the subject of some controversy.

Agriculture, which includes livestock and forestry, is the third most important macro-sector in terms of emissions (18 percent of the total). This is where the environmental impact of cattle husbandry (almost 6% of total emissions), as well as deforestation (a not insignificant 2.2%) and field burning for various causes, comes to the fore (3.5 percent , remember what happens in Indonesia every year). Finally, waste management (3.2 percent) and “industry,” defined as emissions resulting from its activities rather than the energy necessary to provide it, are left (5.2 percent ).

The graph is simple to grasp and provides a window into a) how the world works, b) its impact on the earth, and c) which industries must be regulated if emissions are to be lowered immediately.


Article Author Gerluxe Image: bullfrag