CO2 Emissions and Per Capita GDP
Are there any economic benefits that humanity is reaping from CO2 emissions and fossil fuel use?

Absolutely! The figure below plots per capita CO2 emissions, which are an analog for fossil fuel energy use, against per capita GDP on a countrywide basis for the year 2016. The basic relationship seen there reveals that countries with lower per capita CO2 emissions have lower values of per capita GDP, whereas countries with higher per capita CO2 emissions have higher per capita GDP. So what does this mean?

Well, according to every researcher who has examined the relationship between these two variables, it indicates that fossil energy use is fundamentally linked to economic growth. As countries have embraced and increased their production of fossil energy, their citizens have been amply rewarded with increased economic development and growth. Such fossil fuel-based economic prosperity has been proven over and over again throughout the past century as country after country has moved position along this graph from locations near the bottom left toward the upper right. And it will continue to be the case so long as governments refrain from enacting policys that restrict CO2 emissions and/or fossil fuel use.


Figure 1. The economic relationship between per capita GDP and per capita CO2 emissions on a countrywide basis for 2016.