Montana Emits More CO2 Than 56 Developing Countries

As U.S. enters into current international climate change negotiations, new report stresses importance of taking action, responsibility domestically

Contact Information

  • Anna Swanson, MT Representative for National Environmental Trust, 406-549-2848, ext. 10 
  • Reverend Amy Carter, University Congregational Church, Missoula, (406) 543-6952
  • Reverend John Lund, Lutheran Campus Ministries, Missoula, (406) 549-7821
  • Claudia Brown, Caring for Creation Network, Missoula,
    (406) 728-6049

NET Report

Missoula, Mont. – A report released today by the National Environmental Trust shows that many U.S. states individually emit more greenhouse gases than hundreds of developing nations combined. Montana global warming experts, faith leaders, and advocates for emissions reductions say the report’s findings stress the moral necessity for the United States to assume global leadership on the issue.

The report, “Taking Responsibility: Why the United States Must Lead the World in Reducing Global Warming Pollution” compares annual state emissions data to that of developing and developed nations, graphically illustrating individual U.S. states’ contribution to the greenhouse gas problem. Montana, with its population of 940,690 emits more greenhouse gases than 56 developing countries, with populations totaling 261,868,568. Because greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for centuries, researchers also analyzed historical data. They found that the U.S. is the biggest single source of historical emissions from 1750 to 2005.

“Our politicians can no longer use developing countries’ emissions as an excuse not to act on climate change,” said Claudia Brown, creator of Missoula’s Caring for Creation Network. “The U.S. is responsible for 27.8% of the cumulative global warming pollution, while all developing nations’ emissions put together is just 23%. Fairness dictates that the U.S. must take the global lead in reducing that pollution.”

International leaders are currently meeting at the annual UN climate conference in Bali, Indonesia to discuss options for a new international effort, post the Kyoto Protocol, to combat global warming.

“Even small increments in further warming will make the difference between severe climate change and catastrophic climate change, the difference between 150 million or a billion people displaced from their homes,” said Reverend Amy Carter of Missoula’s University Congregational Church in Missoula. “It is so important that this country participate fully in the international process. The welfare of hundreds of millions hangs in the balance.”

Industry leaders increasingly recognize that the work of averting climate change’s most serious effects can be good for business and local economies. “The international framework is important, and it can lead to economic prosperity,” said Reverend John Lund, Pastor with Lutheran Campus Ministries. “Reducing global warming pollution means we can save Montana natural resources so important to local tourism, recreation and farming.”

* A full version of the report can be found at: