Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Kuwait, one of the world’s richest countries is becoming unlivable

Kuwait, one of the world’s richest countries is becoming unlivable

You may be questioning yourself; how can one of the richest countries in the world like Kuwait become unlivable?
With a country of a small size like Kuwait, the amount of Co2 emissions is making the air polluted hence hard to live in.
As per the World Data Index, Kuwait has among the world’s highest per capita carbon emissions.

Co2 Emissions Impact:
Co2 emissions is the main cause of human induced climate change. It contributes to urban air pollution and causes respiratory health complications to humans and animals due to inhaling smog and air pollution. In addition, Co2 emissions cause extreme weather changes, food supply disruptions and wildfires.

What is causing it in Kuwait?

The main source of high Co2 emissions in Kuwait is the ‘Power Sector’, as it has a high regional demand for electricity and water. ‘Transportation’ also contributes in increased Co2 emissions due to high gas and fuel consumption.

A key contributor to reducing Co2 emissions is shifting to alternative sources of electricity that use less oil, gas and coal sources. 0% of Kuwait’s sources of electricity comes from renewable but rather it is heavily relying on petroleum sources. Kuwait is financially capable of building renewable energy sources such as solar and hydroelectric powers to generate water and electricity.

CO2 Emissions Can Still be Controlled








CO2 emission is a major cause of climate change. It is the reason behind the increase in fires, flooding and extreme weather conditions. It is a major reason behind the increase in repository diseases and lung cancer.


Monitoring the CO2 Emissions in the world for the past 30 years, we can easily notice the significant growth year over year. The CO2 emission in the world has increased from 20.6M kt in 1990 to 34.3M kt in 2019, that is an increase of 70%. China has been top contributor to that since 2005, where its CO2 emission grew from 2.17M kt in 1990 to 10.7M kt in 2017, an increase of 409%. The main jump in the emission started in 2002, mainly after China joined the WTO and began expanding its manufacturing.


The world, and specially China, should implement and force stricter rules to control and reduce the CO2 emissions. The main action plan should start by moving towards renewable energy for electricity generation, like solar and wind power systems. As for the existing power plants, the countries should switch from the pollutant coal plants to less pollutant resources like gas-based plants. Furthermore, the countries should implement rules to encourage less electricity usage by industries and households by forcing progressive tax on consumption. They should also encourage the switch to less pollutant vehicles like electric vehicles.


Such measures have proved to be very effective in controlling and reducing the CO2 emission. This has been validated by the US, where it managed to keep its CO2 emission almost stable at 5M kt since 1990. Actually, it has decreased from 5.77M kt, its peak in 2000, to 4.8M kt in 2019, a decrease of 16.8%. The US have obligated states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to CAP their CO2 emissions from the power sector.


We do recommend countries to follow strict measures to CAP the CO2 emissions before it is too late. Policies like the RGGI in the US has been proven effective. Hopefully measures like China’s 2030 plan can work as well. Moving to renewable energy can be the base for this change. We do hope that we all work together to help save the planet.




CO2 Emissions & Global Warming

CO2 Emissions & Global Warming

There is no doubt that global warming is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity, however correlation does not imply causation. Human activities have likely increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, which is a significant factor in global warming.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) plays an important role in climate change since it contributes significantly to air pollution. Due to carbon dioxide’s ability to trap radiation at the ground level, causing ground level ozone.

CO2 Emissions Tons Per Capita

According to WDI data analysis, Qatar has the highest CO2 emissions per capita due to two main reasons: Qatar is the largest LNG producer and Qatar has a relatively small population. In addition to being a developing country, Qatar exports the most LNG worldwide and has the third highest reserves of natural gas.

CO2 Emissions from Transport

The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation primarily come from burning fossil fuel for our cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes. CO2 emissions from transport contain emissions from the combustion of fuel for all transport activity, regardless of the sector, except for international marine bunkers and international aviation. This includes domestic aviation, domestic navigation, road, rail and pipeline transport. The WDI dataset shows that Paraguay has the highest percentage of CO2 emissions. From 1997 to 2014, CO2 emissions in Paraguay from transport (%) fluctuated substantially, increasing to 93.1% in 2014.

CO2 Emissions from Manufacturing Industries and Construction

CO2 emissions from manufacturing industries and construction contains the emissions from combustion of fuels in industry. The IPCC Source/Sink Category 1 A 2 includes these emissions.

United Arab Emirates CO2 emissions from manufacturing industries (%) was at level of 36.9 % in 2014, down from 41.5 % previous year followed by Luxembourg, Gabon, and China.

Buildings and Construction is one of the key industries in the Middle East, the construction industry has achieved considerable progress in reducing its overall environmental impact over the past few years as a result of understanding its impact on the environment, innovation of its methods, processes, and sustainable resource use.

CO2 Emissions (KT)

CO2 emissions of China increased from 2,173,360 million tones in 1990 to 11,680.4 million tons in 2020 growing at an average annual rate of 5.44%. By 2019, CO2 emission for China has reached 10,707,220 million tons.

CO2 emissions (metric ton per capita) is good metric for measuring relative improvements between countries with different population sizes, however absolute CO2 emissions (kt) is the most important metric when considering which countries have the most impact on global emissions.


In most cases, greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are responsible for causing climate change. As a result of factories and transportation emitting large amounts of CO2, the planet becomes warmer and more polluted, causing global warming problems.

Industries need to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, recycle components, and adopt more environmentally friendly design practices, as well as insist on a better value chain-wide approach.

Digital revolution is changing the world and all manufacturers can take advantage of it to make things better.  By 2030, digital technologies could have a significant impact on reducing global carbon emissions, through solutions in energy, manufacturing, agriculture, building construction, services, transportation, and traffic management.

Also, sustainability needs to be a central component of business models. It is imperative that every company implements a low-carbon business model as part of its long-term strategy.


Renewable Energy in the Arab World

Renewable Energy in the Arab World

With energy and power issues weighing on our daily lives as Lebanese people, we find ourselves constantly engaging in discussions around the topic of lack of electricity, leading to the inevitable “Did you switch to solar power?” question.
We became unwittingly experts in renewable energy, giving our opinion on the subject like true specialists in the field. We find ourselves comparing the benefits of the solar system to the UPS battery system, debating the pros and cons of each option.

Why did it come to this?

In a world that has begun since the 90s its shift towards renewable energies, I could not help but wonder why a country like Lebanon, blessed with wind and water, did not make the shift earlier. The first thing that comes to mind is the cost of the necessary infrastructure for the development of renewable energy projects, but is it the only reason?

In order to dig deeper, I conducted a study to see how the world was doing in 2019 in terms of renewable energy consumption as a percentage of total energy consumption.
There are several countries around the world who run almost exclusively on renewable energy, such as Iceland and Norway who generate all of their electricity using renewable energy resources.
Looking closer at the world heat map, we notice that there is still room for improvement, especially in the Arab World, that witnessed rapid social and economical development over the past four decades which was followed by an increase in energy consumption.

Indeed, hydrocarbon-rich Arab countries still lag behind in terms of renewable energy production and consumption (lowest share of renewable energy as a portion of total energy consumption), while the rest of the world has been pushing ahead with renewable energies.
When we compare the Arab World to the United States and France, we notice that the Arab countries’ fossil fuels consumption is still high especially when compared to France who lowered it from approximately 80% of total energy consumptions in the 1980s to almost 46%.
As such, the Arab world’s renewable energy consumption is still low (at ~4% of total energy consumption).
Many of these countries have the necessary budget for having the proper infrastructure in place. So what could be the reason behind the Arab World’s delay in shifting to a greener economy?

The sharp drop in renewable energy consumption in the past twenty years in the Arab World, could be explained by the Arab governments’ subsidies on fossil fuels leading to such energy inefficiencies. One should not forget that the growth of electricity production in the region led to significant environmental challenges as most its electricity is generated through fossil fuels. In 2019, more than 30% of all electricity generated in the MENA region was produced using heating oil.

Having large subsidies from Governments only delays the shift to a greener energy consumption and production, thus the need to start lowering gradually these subsidies and introducing new incentives for renewable energy consumption in the Arab World.

Surprisingly, Lebanon was until 2019 outperforming other Arab countries, such as Iraq, Qatar and Jordan in terms of renewable energy consumption.
With fuel subsidies currently being lifted in Lebanon, are we going to shift faster than the rest of the Arab World to a greener economy