Take a look at this map below of historical CO2 emissions. It shows the following:
Americas- United States: 30.3%
- Canada: 2.3%
- South and Central America: 3.8%
Europe- Western Europe: 27.7%
- Eastern Europe & Russia: 13.7%
While the US is currently the largest emitter of Greenhouse gasses, it is Europe and Russia that has been the biggest emitter of Greenhouse gasses. It is important to know this since Europe keeps accusing the US of not doing enough to combat global warming.
Europe is currently enjoying a substantial reduction in how much they pollute as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union. This has rewarded Russia with carbon credits due to the Soviet Union being so ecologically damaging to the planet. But since when are the worst offenders rewarded. Europe did nothing to earn these credits that they are getting ready to trade between each other. The US earned them by pushing for the collapse of communism.
So the next time you hear that the US is the world's worst polluter, you can point out that Europe is just as bad, other than for signing a promise to do better which they have yet to act on.
Graphic found at EarthTrends.org Here.