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Navigating the Numbers

Greenhouse Gas Data and International Climate Policy

Provides a comprehensive assessment of the world's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the global, national, sectoral, and fuel levels and identifies implications of the data for international cooperation on global climate change.

Executive Summary

Obtaining relevant and reliable data is the first step in addressing any environmental problem, with global climate change being no exception. In considering next steps in the international effort against climate change, policymakers and stakeholders are confronted by a wealth of data on everything from century-old emission trends to likely economic growth decades into the future. Turning these data into useful input for decision-making is an enormous challenge.

This report aims to convey the wide range of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data in digestible form, with the hope of increasing knowledge and awareness within the climate change policy community. In addition, the report offers a set of policy-relevant insights and observations that flow from the data. In some cases, an understanding of GHG emissions and related trends can help illuminate particular national circumstances faced by countries and inform policy responses of the international community.

Data in this report are drawn primarily, though not exclusively, from the Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) developed by the World Resources Institute. Using CAIT and other databases, WRI has organized data relevant to climate change policy, and extract the most relevant details and findings. The hope is that sound information will contribute to a better-informed debate among stakeholders and, ultimately, improved decision-making.

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