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

Tuvalu produces 0.01% of global emissions, and has been ranked the world’s 190th largest emitter of greenhouse gases since 1990. Since this date, their annual emissions have increased by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.5%.

Summary – GHG Emissions in Tuvalu

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in USD$63.1m
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 201925.7k
Change in Emissions since 20181.2%
Percentage of Total Emissions (2019)0.01%
Rank – Emitters in 2019191
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions since 1990646k
Compound Annual Growth – Emissions since 19901.5%
Percentage of Total Emissions (1990-2019)0.01%
GDP Per Capita (USD)$5.29k
Emissions Per Capita2.2
641ce84ecd477e64daddb4e2 Tuvalu and ten largest%2520emitters since 1990

In the last recorded year (2019), Tuvalu was the world’s 191st largest producer of yearly carbon dioxide emissions and contributed 0.01% 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.

641ce84ecd477e5675ddb4e3 Tuvalu change in emissions 1990 to present

In 2019, Tuvalu emitted 25.7k metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or MtCO₂e. This represented an increase in emissions from 2018 by 1.2%.

Emissions per capita in Tuvalu – average household carbon footprint

The population of Tuvalu is 11.9k. On a per capita basis, they produce 2.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per person. This places them 150th 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 Tuvalu?

In 2019, Tuvalu produced 25.9k metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This was an increase of 1.2% from 2018. 42.5% of these emissions came from CO2, 44.6% came from CH4, and 5.6% came from N2O.

The sector that produced the most emissions in 2019 was the energy industry. Energy produced 11k of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This amounted to 42.5% of total GHG in Tuvalu. The second and third largest emitting sectors were agriculture and waste– producing 26.3% and 23.9% of total GHG respectively.


The industry that produced the most energy related emissions was the electricity/heat sector, emitting 7.9k tonnes of greenhouse gas. The second and third largest emitting sectors were transportation and building – producing 2.2k and 700 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 Tuvalu, their LUCF had a positive impact on their emissions, reducing their footprint by 200 tonnes.

After accounting for land use change and forestry, the total amount of greenhouse emissions in Tuvalu in 2019 was 25.7k metric tonnes.

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

In 2019, gross domestic product (GDP) in Tuvalu grew by 13.4% from the previous year. Measured in US dollars, the economy went from $47.8m to $54.2m. In the same period carbon emissions increased by 1.2%. Over a ten year period from 2009 to 2019, GDP grew by 93.1%, while emissions have increased by 9.9%.

To put this into context, the compound annual growth rate of GDP in Tuvalu over the previous ten years was 6.8% and the CAGR for greenhouse gas emissions was 0.95%.


World Resources Institute, 2022. Climate Watch Historical GHG Emissions. [online] Washington, DC. Available at: https://www.climatewatchdata.org/ghg-emissions.

Global Carbon Project, 2023. Supplemental data of Global Carbon Budget 2023 (Version 1.1) [Data set]. Global Carbon Project. Available at: https://doi.org/10.18160/gcp-2023.

UNFCCC, 2023. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data. [online] Available at: https://di.unfccc.int.

Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative, 2023. ND-GAIN Country Index. [online] Available at: https://gain.nd.edu.

FAO, 2022. Land-Use Change and Forestry or Agriculture indicators from FAOSTAT Emissions Database. [online] Available at: https://www.fao.org/faostat/.

OECD/IEA, 2022. CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion. [online] Available at: https://www.iea.org/reports/co2-emissions-in-2022.

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