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Database Provider


Hannah Ritchie, Max Roser


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


Kaya Identity: Drivers of CO2 Emissions

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  • This interactive graph and table allows students to explore the drivers of CO2 emissions over time in various countries and for the world.
  • Students can customize the data, sort the table, and clearly see the connection between population, per capita GDP, and emissions.
Teaching Tips


  • The charts and data are easy to use and can be downloaded.
  • Students may enjoy looking at how different the emissions are in different countries over time.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know how to read a line graph and be familiar with the term GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
  • The values identified and quantified in the graph and table include GDP per capita, population, carbon intensity, energy intensity, and carbon intensity per GDP. 


  • Students may be interested to see that energy intensity has gone down over time, meaning that we have been getting more efficient at producing energy, even though emissions have continued to go up. Discuss this with your students and have them discuss solutions based on the data in the graph.
  • Connections can be made with math classes working on graphing linear equations or analyzing data.
  • Geography and social studies classes can use this data to research economic, developmental, or societal solutions that will reduce the drivers of emissions.
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, and GDP per capita are key drivers of CO2 emissions. The method used to aggregate the drivers of CO2 emissions are 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.
      • 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)
    • Statistics & Probability: Interpreting Categorical & Quantitative Data (9-12)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.ID.B.6 Represent data on two quantitative variables on a scatter plot, and describe how the variables are related.
    • Statistics & Probability: Making Inferences & Justifying Conclusions (9-12)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.IC.B.6 Evaluate reports based on data.
  • Related Resources


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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 years ago