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Photo by Yaroslav Boshnakov via Unsplash

Authors

Thamine Nayeem, Council on Foreign Relations

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Regional Focus

Global

Format

YouTube Video

Which Countries Are the Top 5 Carbon Emitters?

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Synopsis
  • This short video uses compelling images of climate change impacts to present the top five nations in 2018 contributing to global carbon emissions. 
  • The video lists a few reasons for each country's large contribution to annual carbon emissions. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This video could be a great introduction to discussing the human causes of climate change.
  • The images are striking.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the concept of fossil fuel-driven economic growth. This course may be useful in introducing the topic.

Differentiation

  • Consider having students guess which countries are the top five emitters before watching the video.  Have them explain their thoughts and reasoning behind their predictions.
  • Have students generate a list of questions they are curious about as they watch the video (watching a few times through may be helpful). Then have students work in pairs to research and answer the questions.
  • Other resources related to this topic include Which Countries are Historically Responsible for Climate Change? and Energy Use Per Person.
Scientist Notes
This resource explores the top five carbon emitters in the world. It explains how population and economic growth are causing CO2 levels to further increase. This is insightful and recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 6.ESS3.5 Ask clarifying questions based on evidence about the factors that have caused climate change over the past century.
      • 8.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.
  • Social Sciences
    • Geography (K-12)
      • HS.43 Evaluate how economic globalization and the expanding use of scarce resources contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among countries.
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