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In general, human activity seems to cause climate change. But what specifically are the main sources in order of relevance?
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Economic activities that lead to the production of global greenhouse gases in year 2010 were: Source “Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data” (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2019):

  • Electricity and heat production (25%) - includes burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for offsite generation of electricity and heat
  • Agriculture, forestry, and other land use (24%) - includes deforestation and cultivation of crops & livestock
  • Manufacturing industries (21%) - includes fossil fuels burned onsite for energy & emissions from waste management and other activities in industries
  • Transportation (14%) - includes fossil fuels burned for road, rail, air, and marine transportation
  • Buildings (6%) - includes burning fuels for heat or cooking onsite in buildings
  • Other (10%)

Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser, “CO₂ and Greenhouse Gas Emissions” (OurWorldInData.org, 2019) have a similar report for year 2014.

Experts at “Cooler Smarter: Geek Out on the Data!” (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2012) tracked that for an American, highest emissions come from five areas of life:

  • transportation (28%)
  • all the products and services we spend money on (26%)
  • home heating and cooling (17%)
  • home energy use by appliances and other electronics (15%)
  • food (14%)

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