Who Burnt All The Carbon?

This chart (from Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air) shows each country's cumulative emissions of CO2, expressed as an average emission rate over the period 1880-2004.

cumulative CO2 emissions per country
The UK comes second to the USA by a whisker!
When the Industrial Revolution started, the amount of carbon sitting in coal under Britain was roughly the same as the amount sitting in oil under Saudi Arabia.

An obvious consequence of this chart is: Before we start suggesting with a straight face that people in poorer countries need to be cutting their carbon emissions, we have an obligation to use some of our wealth (partly earned by burning massive amounts of fossil fuels) to remove from the atmosphere most of the CO2 we've already liberated.

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