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Before 1750, carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion were negligible. The world’s first industrialized nation, the United Kingdom, became the world's first CO2 emitter in the mid-1700s, when industrialization began.

Since then, cumulative CO2 emissions in the world total more than 1.5 trillion metric tons, 3,600 times more than in 1751, according to Our World in Data, and enough to significantly warm the planet. Of that, the U.K. has emitted 78.16 billion metric tons, about 4.61% of the global total. The U.S., however, is responsible for nearly 25% of the global cumulative total, more than any other country in the world, and twice more than China, the world’s second largest national contributor, according to Our World in Data. As a region, Europe is also historically a large contributor, at 22% of the cumulative total. It’s only over the past 50 years that growth in South America, Asia and Africa have increased these regions’ share of total contribution.

These are the countries that have contributed the largest share of global CO2 emissions since 1750, or the year that historical data was first available, (which is indicated for each) according to Our World in Data.

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1 usa nyc port sh
2 china port shipping sh
3 russia sh
4 hamburg germany sh
5 london england uk sh
6 tokyo japan sh
7 india delhi smog sh
8 international transport amazon sh
9 bordeaux france sh
10 canada coal mine alberta sh
11 ukraine kiev sh
12 poland warsaw MrMR : Shutterstock
13 italy milan sh
14 s africa capetown sh
15 mexico city sh
16 tehran iran sh
17 Australia sydney sh
18 Lotte World Tower Seoul skorea sh
19 Belo Horizonte, Brazil sh
20 saudi arabia riyadh Fedor Selivanov : Shutterstock
21 Four seasons madrid spain EfectoDron : Shutterstock
22 jakarta indonesia sh
23 Kazakhstan nur-sultan sh
24 brussels belgium sh
25 Czech republic prague sh
26 Netherlands
27 bursa turkey sh
28 Taipei taiwan sh
29 romania sh
30 Buenos Aires argentina  Marianna Ianovska : Shutterstock

You can learn more about this data and look up other countries' cumulative CO2 at Our World in Data. (CC 4.0 Hannah Ritchie, Our World in Data)

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