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Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions

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T.A. Boden, G. Marland, and R.J. Andres

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center,
Environmental Sciences Division,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6290, U.S.A.



Period of Record



Publications containing historical energy statistics make it possible to estimate fossil fuel CO2 emissions back to 1751. Etemad et al. (1991) published a summary compilation that tabulates coal, brown coal, peat, and crude oil production by nation and year. Footnotes in the Etemad et al.(1991) publication extend the energy statistics time series back to 1751. Summary compilations of fossil fuel trade were published by Mitchell (1983, 1992, 1993, 1995). Mitchell's work tabulates solid and liquid fuel imports and exports by nation and year. These pre-1950 production and trade data were digitized and CO2 emission calculations were made following the procedures discussed in Marland and Rotty (1984) and Boden et al. (1995). Further details on the contents and processing of the historical energy statistics are provided in Andres et al. (1999).

The 1950 to present CO2 emission estimates are derived primarily from energy statistics published by the United Nations (2010), using the methods of Marland and Rotty (1984). The energy statistics were compiled primarily from annual questionnaires distributed by the U.N. Statistical Office and supplemented by official national statistical publications. As stated in the introduction of the Statistical Yearbook, "in a few cases, official sources are supplemented by other sources and estimates, where these have been subjected to professional scrutiny and debate and are consistent with other independent sources." Data from the U.S. Department of Interior's Geological Survey (USGS 2010) were used to estimate CO2 emitted during cement production. Values for emissions from gas flaring were derived primarily from U.N. data but were supplemented with data from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (1994), Rotty (1974), and data provided by G. Marland. Greater details about these methods are provided in Marland and Rotty (1984), Boden et al. (1995), and Andres et al. (1999).


  • Andres, R.J., D.J. Fielding, G. Marland, T.A. Boden, and N. Kumar. 1999. Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel use, 1751-1950. Tellus 51B:759-65.
  • Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R. J. Andres. 1995. Estimates of global, regional, and national annual CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel burning, hydraulic cement production, and gas flaring: 1950-1992. ORNL/CDIAC-90, NDP-30/R6. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
  • Marland, G., and R.M. Rotty. 1984. Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels: A procedure for estimation and results for 1950-82. Tellus 36(B):232-61.
  • Etemad, B., J. Luciani, P. Bairoch, and J.-C. Toutain. 1991. World Energy Production 1800-1985. Librarie DROZ, Switzerland.
  • Mitchell, B.R. 1983. International Historical Statistics: The Americas and Australasia 1750-1988. pgs. 522-525. Gale Research Company, Detroit, United States.
  • Mitchell, B.R. 1992. International Historical Statistics: Europe 1750-1988. pgs. 465-485. Stockton Press, New York, United States.
  • Mitchell, B.R. 1993. International Historical Statistics: The Americas 1750-1988. pgs. 405-414. Stockton Press, New York, United States.
  • Mitchell, B.R. 1995. International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia and Oceania 1750-1988. pgs. 490-497. Stockton Press, New York, United States.
  • Rotty, R.M. 1974. First estimates of global flaring of natural gas. Atmospheric Environment 8:681-86.
  • United Nations. 2010. 2008 Energy Statistics Yearbook. United Nations Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, Statistics Division, New York.
  • U.S. Department of Energy. 1994. International Energy Annual 1994. DOE/EIA-0219(91). Energy Information Administration, Office of Energy Markets and End Use, Washington, D.C.
  • U.S. Geological Survey. 2010. 2008 Minerals Yearbook - Cement H.G. van Oss (Ed.), U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.

CITE AS: Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres. 2011. Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2011