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

What percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions does Bulgaria produce?

Bulgaria produces 0.04% of global emissions, and has been ranked the world’s 92nd largest emitter of greenhouse gases since 1990. Since this date, their annual emissions have decreased by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -5%.

Summary – GHG Emissions in Bulgaria

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in USD$80.3bn
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 201917.5m
Change in Emissions since 2018-10%
Percentage of Total Emissions (2019)0.04%
Rank – Emitters in 2019128
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions since 19901.22bn
Compound Annual Growth – Emissions since 1990-5%
Percentage of Total Emissions (1990-2019)0.11%
GDP Per Capita (USD)$11.6k
Emissions Per Capita2.5
641ce7b01fc1fac6000976af Bulgaria and ten largest%2520emitters since 1990

In the last recorded year (2019), Bulgaria was the world’s 128th largest producer of yearly carbon dioxide emissions and contributed 0.04% 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.

641ce7b01fc1fa95d10976b0 Bulgaria change in emissions 1990 to present

In 2019, Bulgaria emitted 17.5m metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or MtCO₂e. This represented a decrease in emissions from 2018 by -10%.

Emissions per capita in Bulgaria – average household carbon footprint

The population of Bulgaria is 6.9m. On a per capita basis, they produce 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per person. This places them 146th 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 Bulgaria?

In 2019, Bulgaria produced 51.3m metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This was a reduction of -3.7% from 2018. 76.3% of these emissions came from CO2, 13.3% came from CH4, and 8.1% came from N2O.

The sector that produced the most emissions in 2019 was the energy industry. Energy produced 39.8m of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This amounted to 77.6% of total GHG in Bulgaria. The second and third largest emitting sectors were agriculture and waste– producing 10.2% and 7.6% of total GHG respectively.


The industry that produced the most energy related emissions was the electricity/heat sector, emitting 22.7m tonnes of greenhouse gas. The second and third largest emitting sectors were transportation and manufacturing/construction – producing 9.77m and 4.6m 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 Bulgaria, their LUCF had a positive impact on their emissions, reducing their footprint by 33.8m tonnes.

After accounting for land use change and forestry, the total amount of greenhouse emissions in Bulgaria in 2019 was 17.5m metric tonnes.

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

In 2019, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria grew by 3.8% from the previous year. Measured in US dollars, the economy went from $66.4bn to $68.9bn. In the same period carbon emissions decreased by -1%. Over a ten year period from 2009 to 2019, GDP grew by 32.5%, while emissions have decreased by -45%.

To put this into context, the compound annual growth rate of GDP in Bulgaria over the previous ten years was 2.9% and the CAGR for greenhouse gas emissions was -5.8%.

Leave a comment