Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the 80/20 rule

Many people know of the 80/20 rule. It is used in many situations. One of them is an adage about how you can fix 80% of the problem easily, and the last 20% with much more difficulty.

This got me thinking about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There are 150 countries at , and in theory all of them have to agree. But in reality the countries that are the biggest emitters really matter – the ones make up 80% of emissions. Without them, no agreement will work. While if they do agree, what the rest of the world wants or does not want is of little moment. That is not to say that you do not want as many parties as possible agreeing, but those who make up 80% are the ones.

So who are they. Well based on CO2 emissions, you only need 20 countries to make up 80% of emissions. They are:


The top six make up 60%, and the top 20, 80%.

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