Which countries pollute our planet the most?

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere broke another record in 2020, despite a decline in fossil fuel emissions during the Covid-19 pandemic. The concentration reached 413 parts per million (ppm) in 2020, 149% higher than pre-industrial (pre-1750) levels.

Human activity is one of the main causes of global warming due to its very high greenhouse gas emissions. But are all countries concerned? And if not, which ones pollute the most? There are different ways to rank the most polluting countries; according to CO2 emissions, per capita, or even according to the ecological footprint.

Pollution by carbon dioxide emissions

Most of this pollution comes from just a few countries: China, for example, generates about 30% of all global emissions, while the United States is responsible for almost 14%. Here are the 10 countries that produce the most emissions, measured in millions of tonnes of CO2 in 2019:

1) China, with more than 10,065 million tons of CO2 released.
2) The United States, with 5,416 million tons of CO2
3) India, with 2,654 million tonnes of CO2
4) Russia, with 1,711 million tonnes of CO2
5) Japan, 1,162 million tonnes of CO2
6) Germany, 759 million tons of CO2
7) Iran, 720 million tons of CO2
8) South Korea, 659 million tons of CO2
9) Saudi Arabia, 621 million tons of CO2
10) Indonesia, 615 million tons of CO2

Emissions per capita

When it comes to assessing emissions per capita, the United States and Canada top the charts. According to a report by Statista using data from the International Monetary Fund, here are the top carbon dioxide emitters per capita in metric tons

1) United States: 14.95t
2) Canada: 14.91t
3) South Korea: 11.5t
4) Russia: 9.97t
5) Japan: 9.04t
6) Germany: 8.88t
7) China: 6.57t
8) UK: 5.65t
9) Italy: 5.37t
10) France: 4.38t

Air pollution by country

The studies revealed the existence of a racial disparity between white and non-white populations, since the people who breathe the harmful air are predominantly from black and Hispanic communities, while the people who cause the most air pollution are in makes blanks.

Our air contains various pollutants, particles as well as gases. One of the most commonly spotted pollutants is made up of very small fine particles called PM2.5. The latter, which are less than 2.5 micrograms wide, are considered very dangerous due to their ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and bloodstream.

Here is the ranking of the top ten countries for PM2.5 air pollution according to the World Bank:

1) Nepal (100)
2) Niger (94)
3) Qatar (94)
4) India (91)
5) Saudi Arabia (88)
6) Egypt (87)
7) Cameroon (73)
8) Nigeria (72)
9) Bahrain (71)
10) Chad (66)

Some are guiltier than others

One of the main concerns about global pollution is that there is not enough reliable data to link its impact to health. This is why it is important that institutions and governments take an active role in data collection, and that governments take action by imposing regulations aimed at reducing industrial pollution.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that if the temperature of the atmosphere exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures, we could suffer devastating consequences. They reduced the previous global goal of 2 degrees Celsius by comparing the types of consequences associated with each goal, and their findings essentially suggest that 1.5 degrees Celsius is bad enough already, and best avoided.

Let’s keep in mind that some countries are more responsible than others for the carbon dioxide emissions polluting the planet, and climate change is an issue that will affect the whole world, unless the most guilty start acting as soon as possible. to change things!


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