Map of the world’s biggest polluters since 1971 released online

19 Mar 2014

An interactive map of the world’s biggest polluters going as far back as 1971, created by French designer ‘JeremY Boy’, shows how clean tech has a lot to gain over fossil fuels.

The map is compiled of data obtained from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and shows that the amount of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion has doubled over the past 30 years.

In 1971, the world-wide total emission was of 14,095 million tonnes.

In 2007, it was of 28962 million tonnes with predictions for the year 2030 estimate a total of 40226 million tonnes.

One of the most striking elements of the map is with China where the dark, black clouds hover over the entire country when their economic boom becomes visible from 2002.

According to the figures, China’s emissions of CO2 from fuel combustion have risen by 5.8pc per annum between 1971 and 2007.

The use of coal in China increased the levels of CO2 emissions by 5.2 billion tonnes over the 36 years to 2007.

While Ireland’s emissions have doubled since 1971 from 22m tonnes to 44m tonnes in 2007, it remains relatively small on the world stage; so much so that the designer has seemingly confused Ireland’s flag with Iran’s.  

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic