DR Congo
Overview of carbon emissions produced by DR Congo
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What percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions does DR Congo produce?

Dr Congo produces 1.4% of global emissions, and has been ranked the world’s 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases since 1990. Since this date, their annual emissions have increased by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.6%.

Summary – GHG Emissions in DR Congo

CountryDR Congo
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in USD$54bn
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2019680m
Change in Emissions since 20180.4%
Percentage of Total Emissions (2019)1.4%
Rank – Emitters in 201912
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions since 199015.2bn
Compound Annual Growth – Emissions since 19901.6%
Percentage of Total Emissions (1990-2019)1.3%
GDP Per Capita (USD)$584
Emissions Per Capita7.4
6435da82aeba866be5f65085 DR%2520Congo and ten largest%2520emitters since 1990

In the last recorded year (2019), DR Congo was the world’s 12th largest producer of yearly carbon dioxide emissions and contributed 1.4% 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.

641ce7c21fc1fa6046098bc8 DR%2520Congo change in emissions 1990 to present

In 2019, DR Congo emitted 680m metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or MtCO₂e. This represented an increase in emissions from 2018 by 0.4%.

Emissions per capita in Dr Congo – average household carbon footprint

The population of DR Congo is 92.4m. On a per capita basis, they produce 7.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per person. This places them 64th 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 DR Congo?

In 2019, DR Congo produced 55m metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This was an increase of 2.1% from 2018. 5.8% of these emissions came from CO2, 63.5% came from CH4, and 26.5% 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 625m of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This amounted to 1135% of total GHG in DR Congo. The second and third largest emitting sectors were agriculture and waste– producing 48.8% and 28.2% of total GHG respectively.


The industry that produced the most energy related emissions was the building sector, emitting 5.93m tonnes of greenhouse gas. The second and third largest emitting sectors were transportation and fugitive emissions – producing 2.24m and 1.37m 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 DR Congo, their LUCF had a negative impact on their emissions, increasing their footprint by 625m tonnes.

After accounting for land use change and forestry, the total amount of greenhouse emissions in DR Congo in 2019 was 680m metric tonnes.

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

In 2019, gross domestic product (GDP) in DR Congo grew by 8.8% from the previous year. Measured in US dollars, the economy went from $47.6bn to $51.8bn. In the same period carbon emissions increased by 0.4%. Over a ten year period from 2009 to 2019, GDP grew by 178%, while emissions have increased by 54.5%.

To put this into context, the compound annual growth rate of GDP in DR Congo over the previous ten years was 10.8% and the CAGR for greenhouse gas emissions was 4.4%.

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