Cars Cause Biggest Share of Transportation CO₂ Emissions
This article is published in collaboration with Statista
by Anna Fleck
Cars and vans accounted for 48 percent of global transport carbon dioxide emissions in 2022, according to an analysis by Statista based on International Energy Agency data (IEA). This made the sub-sector the most emissions-laden mode of transport worldwide. As the following infographic shows, car and van emissions were over four times that of international shipping (10 percent) and even air travel (11 percent). Meanwhile, medium and heavy freight vehicles made up roughly a quarter of transportation emissions last year, despite representing a smaller share of vehicles. Altogether, the transportation sector is producing more than seven billion metric tons of carbon dioxide a year.
While transportation is just one sector responsible for CO2 emissions, it is a significant one. According to the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research, the transportation sector ranked second worldwide only after the power industry in 2022. The top five biggest contributors to CO2 emissions that year were: power industry (38.1 percent), transportation (20.7 percent), industrial combustion (17 percent), buildings (8.9 percent), industrial processes (8.4 percent).
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