Burning fossil fuels for electricity and heat is, by far, the main driver of climate change. Emissions from those sectors account for nearly a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Resources Institute. These activities are the biggest climate villains, statistically speaking.
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Transportation: 14.8% —
Transportation -- driving, flying and the like -- makes up nearly 15% of global climate-change pollution, according to 2012 data synthesized by WRI. It's the second-most important cause of dangerous global warming.
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Manufacturing and construction: 13.3% —
Manufacturing and construction are less often discussed than transit, but they contribute nearly as much to climate change: 13.3% of emissions, WRI says. These activities are the third-biggest contributors of heat-trapping emissions.
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Agriculture: 11.1% —
Likewise, our food systems are villains in the fight against climate change. Advocates say giving up meat, especially beef, would help curb greenhouse gases. Agriculture makes up 11.1% of global emissions, according to WRI.
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Other fuel combustion: 8.2% —
Burning other types of fuel, including wood, accounts for 8.2% of emissions. Also included in this category are fuels burned in commercial and residential buildings, as well as burning fuel for agriculture and deep-sea fishing.
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Industrial processes: 5.8% —
Industry adds 5.8% of global carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, according to WRI. Cement and aluminum production, shown here, are among the major contributors.
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Deforestation and land use changes: 5.7% —
Forests trap carbon, so chopping down rainforests contributes considerably to the climate change problem. Estimates vary, but WRI says deforestation accounts for 5.7% of emissions linked to climate change. Other estimates put the number closer to 20%.
Gas flares, and other emissions associated with energy production, create 5.3% of greenhouse gas emissions.
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Waste: 3.1% —
Landfills produce methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas. Our waste systems create 3.1% of global warming pollution, according to WRI.
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Bunker fuels: 2.2% —
Some emissions can't be tied to a particular country. These "bunker fuels," in industry-speak, include ships in international waters as well as international flights, according to the World Resources Institute. They account for 2.2% of climate change emissions.