Talk:List of countries by ratio of GDP to carbon dioxide emissions

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This initially seemed like and odd idea to me, but once I actually put the data together the results proved sufficiently interesting that I decided it would be worthwhile to include here, epecially given the number of arguments I've seen (mostly in Kyoto related discussions) as to how closely tied GDP and CO2 emissions are. Hopefully other people find this data useful. Cheradenine 23:48, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

  • I notice the GDP and CO2 data are actually from different years. Shouldn't they be from the same year, so that we compare like with like? The ratio of percentage to percentage is illuminating, but how many significant figures is each figure to? Iceland is quoted as 0.009 % of GDP - 1 s.f., but its ratio is quoted to 4 s.f. Is a dimensionless ratio the best format or would it be more meaningful as (GDP in US$)/(tonne CO2)? --195.8.190.54 09:46, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Not all are countries[edit]

This is a minor issue, but despite what the title says, the EU, Hong Kong, and the World are included in the list of "countries". To those who manage this data and graphic, I'd suggest removing each of them from the table, and adding their stats in prose format. Daniel Collins 02:44, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Not all countries are represented

Use of Nominal GDP instead of PPP GDP[edit]

The GDP figures used for this should be PPP rather than nominal. The table in this article is meaningless.

I second that. The countries with high price level look good in this table when they should not. --155.56.68.221 18:37, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Then how do you handle a country like China for which PPP valuations are extremely variable and open to a great deal of debate due to the significant fragmentation of their economy? The over-use of what people call "PPP" is becoming worrisome, most especially because people do not seem to understand that there is not a set PPP valuation, that it is very much a _situational_ tool with very little capability to compare moderately (or more) different economies. 68.15.109.250 19:12, 21 March 2007 (UTC) MM
I disagree. Economic activity is the overwhelming reason why CO2 is released in the first place. What this chart is shows is the amount of CO2 released for every unit of value created in an economy compared to other countries. When PPP is introduce that comparison is lost because the value of each unit changes depending on the country. For this chart to remain useful is has to stay in GDP.Nailedtooth 23:23, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
both figures are important, as they represent different viewpoints, therefore I am in favor of inlcuding both (as does e.g. http://www.iea.org/co2highlights ). aenus 11:28, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Wouldnt it be more useful to have Emissions/GDP than the reverse? That way, you would have a measure of how polluting a country is compared to its peers, rather than how pollution-efficient it is, which is a harder concept to grasp. i.e. To say a country generates 5 times more CO2 per dollar; seems simpler to grasp than to say that it generates 5 times fewer dollars per ton of CO2 generated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.147.138.66 (talk) 17:51, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, emissions/GDP is a more common figure, often called "carbon intensity". --Delirium (talk) 21:28, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Update with both GDP nominal and PPP[edit]

I have included both nominal and PPP GDP intensities in the table, as both concepts are important and repeatedly discussed. Moreover I have included 2006 data conforming to List of countries by ratio of GDP to carbon dioxide emissions. Please feel free to revert to the previous stage if you do not think this adjustment worthwhile... aenus 11:28, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Original Research[edit]

I'm pretty sure this page falls under Wikipedia:Original Research. Despite that, I think it is definitely worthwhile. Isn't this the same as "carbon intensity"--the measure the US uses for its carbon reduction efforts? If someone could find the data from a source that has already done that math before someone tries to get the article deleted for original research, that would be great.--Bibliophylax 13:53, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

This is just another way to present existing data that is verifiable, not original research as such. 82.231.41.7 21:12, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Obsolete figures[edit]

Why is this list using 2005 GDP data, but 2002 CO2 data? Three year gap is bad. In List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions 2004 data are available, so it will be better to use them with 2004 GDP data. --Jklamo 21:10, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

This gap explains the unbelievable figure for chad! 2002 emissions, 2005 GDP : in the meantime, Chad had started the production of oil, which caused a jump of its GDP! --Raminagrobis fr (talk) 21:35, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Comma's or Dots?[edit]

What will we be using for things like 2576? Will it be 2,576 or 2.576? Cause now we've got 2 diffrent things —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wobster (talkcontribs) 19:39, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

New Discussion[edit]

A discussion has been started at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries/Lists of countries which could affect the inclusion criteria and title of this and other lists of countries. Editors are invited to participate. Pfainuk talk 11:34, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


Criterion, updates, etc.[edit]

First, neat page - addressed a question I'd been wondering about for a while. I can see a case for calling this synthesis Wikipedia:Original Research even though the input data are sourced, since the computed result is an interesting new derivation. I think a good rejoinder to that is that the computation is objective and the article does not interpret or draw conclusions from the computed results; it just makes them easy to read (and inviting to interpret!)

Second, after reading some of the voluminous discussion on lists of countries, I'll suggest the natural criterion for inclusion in this list is all the parties to the 1992 UNFCCC and/or to the Kyoto Protocol, as those constitute the world forum where carbon emissions are at issue. (I'd have to check whether countries formed since then are being added by some process.)

As for presentation, it's a good point that CO2/GDP is another way to slice the same data that might also be of interest. Perhaps the table could have another column for this next to GDP/CO2. (The other data I was wishing I could view is absolute population.)

Finally, I believe this list ties in with the Kaya Identity and I wonder if it would make sense to add a "see also" link to that at the end? Birdbrainscan (talk) 21:00, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Combining several lists[edit]

Having just updated List of countries by greenhouse gas emissions per capita for 2005 (most recent data available from WRI CAIT 6.0), I was looking at some of the related list-of-countries articles. Specifically CO2 per capita, CO2 and GDP to CO2 ratio

It is my intent to create an article titled List of countries by greenhouse gas emissions based on 2005 data. I intend to leave CO2 per capita as a separate article but include the data for co2, co2 per capita, ghg, ghg per capita, gpd, and ghg/gdp (inverse of what the present has, so it's carbon intensity) all in one chart. At that point ghg per capita, CO2 and GDP to CO2 ratio could all be deleted/merged since they would be redundant. Single chart will make all the data sortable so anyone can order the countries by the metric of choice. I intend to make the rank column number by total ghg emission numbers (without land-use.) CO2 per capita would remain as a distinct article since it has data for that metric going back to 1990 which will not be recreated in the article I'm proposing.

It's going to take me some time to generate the new page as I intend to create some software to process and format the data for me so that

  1. It will be less work in the future
  2. I will be less likely to make a transcription error.

I'll be generating this on my user page before creating the new article, but wanted to give everyone a heads up in case there are concerns or someone is just vehemently opposed to this for some reason. I'm considering leaving in the 2000 data for ghg per capita with & without land-use because land-use data is not available after that year and it gives at least some idea of what impact it has on a nation's numbers even though the most recent data is 9 years out of date.

This hopefully will create a single article in which all of this data is available, comparable and sortable - which I think will be better for the reader. Because of the size it will not be possible to include multiple years. Possible ways to deal with that would be to create one article per year, or to only have the article with the most recent year, or some hybrid of these two.

I'm posting this in all related articles, but it might be valuable to confine the discussion to one place. I propose that we use the List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita talk page to collect the common discussions on. Mishlai (talk) 05:27, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Doing the Math properly would help a lot to improve the page. Example Mali 4.944/565=0.00875 and not 8.75!WildBoar44 (talk) 08:06, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Ratio of GDP to carbon dioxide emissions[edit]

The forthcoming Copenhagen meeting on climate change is likely to end in sterile disputes between the developed and developing worlds on responsibility for curbing greenhouse gas emissions. We need however to set a common target for all countries to reach over time. This target must be such that it can be accepted by all or at least most countries. The answer lies in focussing on the productivity of carbon emissions based on GDP per capita (in PPP terms) per ton of carbon dioxide but with the GDP per capita scaled down by a factor such as by raising it to the power of 0.7. Such adjustment would be fair to poorer countries and would encourage them to accept the target. The subject of GDP per ton of carbon or its inverse of carbon intensity is largely ignored by the media but it goes to the heart of the solution. If we could improve the world average to that of the top 20% performers on this measure we could nearly halve world emissions. Peter Howard38 (talk) 17:04, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

I want to create a Wikipedia article indexing GHG emissions to ice cream production per capita. Or maybe rubber duckies per person. Our biosphere cares about as much about those as it does about this ridiculously overemphasized ratio. Somewildthingsgo (talk) 06:11, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I concur Peter Howard38, and Somewildthingsgo you are not adding to the solution although what you say is obvious to everyone, it is not desirable to cut GDP. You see Humanity is more important than absolute CO2 emissions, GDP is intrinsically linked with quality of life and longevity in general. To strike a rational balance between concern for the prosperity of our fellow man and concern for our fellow man via the externality of climate change is done by using the metric of CO2 emissions per unit of GDP, it is therefore clearly the best yardstick to use. I care about as much about the climate as the next environmentalist, but I won't allow elitist eco-fascists to start thinking it would be a good idea to force CO2 taxes on people who are struggling to survive in developing countries as it is, even before the carbon tax. As this is simply oppressive and anti-humanist.
There should be a simple enough compromise between developed and undeveloped nations over CO2 emissions, something fair and rational such as - once your nations quality of life reaches X value, you have to start adhering to the 6000+ dollars of GDP per ton of CO2 legal requirement. Presently the EU for example(where pretty much everyone has a high quality of life) would cut its CO2 emissions by more than half if every country in the EU followed the Swiss and French electricity models of using high amounts of Hydro power(when available) and nuclear power in an economical low-carbon power manner, the technology is ready to go today. There is no point waiting around listening to all the greenwashing from the Wind and Solar industries while meanwhile Germany is all talk about cutting CO2 but really is building more coal burning power plants.
Rich nations must lead by example, Germany, by building more fossil fuel plants, has made a complete mockery of the kyoto protocol. To a point that if I were from India or China I would tell you where to shove your tax too. You can't blame them, so I don't blame developing countries, I blame developed countries who have the financial flexibility to drastically cut CO2 emissions, but choose instead to increase them.
Boundarylayer (talk) 08:20, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Cuba not on this list[edit]

Cuba is absent from this list. It is important that it be added because of claims that it has a sustainability sweet spot, being the only country with acceptably low levels of emissions combined with high human development levels. I did the math based on figures from List of countries by greenhouse gas emissions and List of countries by GDP (nominal) and it turns out Cuba gets $1,389 from each ton of CO2 emissions, slightly more efficient than Ghana but slightly less efficient than Georgia.Amyzex (talk) 16:11, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I think this article should be merged with List of countries by carbon intensity. As defined in that article, "carbon intensity" is CO2 emissions divided by GDP, which is the inverse of the GDP-to-emissions ratio used here. The other page should be kept since it has a simpler title. Qzekrom (talk) 02:27, 11 December 2017 (UTC)