Overview of carbon emissions produced by Botswana
Last updated:
Loading reading time...

What percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions does Botswana produce?

Botswana produces 0.11% of global emissions, and has been ranked the world’s 75th largest emitter of greenhouse gases since 1990. Since this date, their annual emissions have decreased by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -0.13%.

Summary – GHG Emissions in Botswana

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in USD$17.6bn
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 201952.3m
Change in Emissions since 2018-3.1%
Percentage of Total Emissions (2019)0.11%
Rank – Emitters in 201986
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions since 19901.65bn
Compound Annual Growth – Emissions since 1990-0.13%
Percentage of Total Emissions (1990-2019)0.14%
GDP Per Capita (USD)$7.35k
Emissions Per Capita21.8
6435da797854d990df2a0e62 Botswana and ten largest%2520emitters since 1990

In the last recorded year (2019), Botswana was the world’s 86th largest producer of yearly carbon dioxide emissions and contributed 0.11% of all global emissions. The top three emitters in the same period were China, the United States, and India. These three nations produced 25.2%, 12%, and 7% of global emissions respectively.

6435da797854d990df2a0e63 Botswana change in emissions 1990 to present

In 2019, Botswana emitted 52.3m metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or MtCO₂e. This represented a decrease in emissions from 2018 by -3.1%.

Emissions per capita in Botswana – average household carbon footprint

The population of Botswana is 2.4m. On a per capita basis, they produce 21.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per person. This places them 10th out of 191 on emissions produced per capita. The top three emitters per capita are Solomon Islands, Qatar, and Kuwait.

What is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Botswana?

In 2019, Botswana produced 11m metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This was a reduction of -13.2% from 2018. 65.9% of these emissions came from CO2, 18.3% came from CH4, and 13.9% came from N2O.

The sector that produced the most emissions in 2019 was the land-use change and forestry industry. Land-Use Change and Forestry produced 41.3m of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This amounted to 376% of total GHG in Botswana. The second and third largest emitting sectors were energy and agriculture- producing 68.1% and 27.7% of total GHG respectively.


The industry that produced the most energy related emissions was the electricity/heat sector, emitting 4.1m tonnes of greenhouse gas. The second and third largest emitting sectors were transportation and manufacturing/construction – producing 2.47m and 650k tonnes of GHG each.

Land Use Change and Forestry

Land use change and forestry (LUCF), such as deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural or urban areas, can have a significant impact on carbon emissions.

  • Trees and other vegetation absorb and store carbon through the process of photosynthesis, and when they are cut down or burned, that stored carbon is released into the atmosphere.
  • Deforestation and other forms of land use change can also reduce the ability of ecosystems to absorb and store carbon in the future. Additionally, the conversion of land for agriculture or urban development can lead to the release of carbon stored in the soil.
  • On the other hand, sustainable forestry practices, such as reforestation and afforestation, can help to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in trees and other vegetation.

In the case of Botswana, their LUCF had a negative impact on their emissions, increasing their footprint by 41.3m tonnes.

After accounting for land use change and forestry, the total amount of greenhouse emissions in Botswana in 2019 was 52.3m metric tonnes.

Is there a correlation between greenhouse gas emissions and economic growth?

In 2019, gross domestic product (GDP) in Botswana declined by -1.3% from the previous year. Measured in US dollars, the economy went from $16.9bn to $16.7bn. In the same period carbon emissions decreased by -3.1%. Over a ten year period from 2009 to 2019, GDP grew by 62.6%, while emissions have increased by 0.93%.

To put this into context, the compound annual growth rate of GDP in Botswana over the previous ten years was 5% and the CAGR for greenhouse gas emissions was 0.09%.

Leave a comment