CO2 equivalent

The carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2e is a unit that represents the warming effect of any given greenhouse gas. CO2e can be described as the amount of carbon emissions that causes the same amount of climate forcing as any emitted amount of greenhouse gas or congregate of greenhouse gasses while also noting the different amounts of time they continue to exist in the atmosphere. [1] CO2e uses the base value of carbon depicted by the global warming product or GWP to convert any unit of GHG. CO2e is used to compare the warming impact of any different GHG. It can be calculated by multiplying the total green house gas to the global warming product. [2]

Amount of GHG x GWP Value = CO2e [3]


  1. Ottomar Edenhofer et al., “Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation,” IPCC, 2012. [Online]. Available:
  2. Linden Cheek, “Definition: GWP and CO2e,” University of Arkansas Sustainability Blog, May 25, 2016. [Onine]. Available:
  3. Thomas F. Stocker et al., “Climate Change 2013 The Physical Science Basis,” IPCC, 2013, [Online], Available:

Authors and Editors

Celeste Pomerantz, Jason Donev
Last updated: August 29, 2017
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