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  • Climate Action

Regional Focus

  • Global

Kaya Identity: Drivers of CO2 Emissions

Authors: Hannah Ritchie, Max Roser
Grades: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Subjects: Science, Biology, Earth Science, Economics
Resource Types:
  • Interactive Media
  • Data
  • This interactive resource allows students to explore the drivers of CO2 emissions in various countries and for the world.
  • Students can track the causes for increasing CO2 emissions through time and see how CO2 emissions have changed.
Teaching Tips


  • The charts and data are easy to use and can be downloaded.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know how to read a line graph and be familiar with the term GDP (Gross Domestic Product).


  • The drivers of CO2 emissions identified and quantified include GDP per capita, population, carbon intensity, energy intensity, and carbon intensity per GDP.
  • Cross-curricular connections could be made with math, geography, and social studies courses when working with the data or discussing the reasons for certain drivers being more prevalent in some countries.
Scientist Notes

This resource used GDP per capita with population for regions and the world from 1870 onwards and also used GDP per capita in 1990 dollars with the most current time series on growth of GDP per capita and the 1990 Maddison benchmark. This historical data has been weighted to get inflation and GDP for countries under study. Also in the resource, Population, carbon intensity, energy intensity, GDP per capita are key drivers of CO2 emissions. Method used to aggregate the drivers of CO2 emissions is appropriate and recommended.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.*
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.Math)
    • S-IC Making Inferences and Justifying Conclusions
      • S.IC.6 Evaluate reports based on data.


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  • Great for STEM education with many applications. It's incredibly important to understand the causes so that you can identify the best solutions!
    2 months ago