Which countries pollute the most? Between the G20 in Rome, in which the big names of the planet found an agreement on a ceiling on warming, without however setting a deadline for achieving the goal but limiting itself to indicating a generic “mid-century”, and the COP 26 of Glasgow, world climate conference starting today, where further targets should be set to improve the health of the globe, it may be worth taking a look at the “ranking” of the countries of the world by quantity of CO2 released into the air.
And if the ranking for total tons issued holds few surprises, it may be more interesting to take a look at the ranking for per capita emissions.
The general classification
According to the data contained on the site “Our world in data”, which collects numerous statistics on the environment, economy and demography, among other things, at the top of the ranking of overall issues is China, with 9,838,754,028 tons of Co2 emitted into the air (since it combines direct and “indirect” emissions, for example those resulting from deforestation practices or those that come from the export of fossil fuels).
Behind China it places what is currently considered its main rival in the new world bipolar scheme, that is the United States, whose president Joe Biden has not lacked, in recent times, numerous criticisms of the Dragon on the front of climate change and pollution. Well, the US remains the second worst polluter in the world, with 5,269,529,513 tons of Co2 emitted into the air (but for emissions due to human activity alone, in 2004 the United States was still ahead, ahead of China and Russia).
On the third step of the podium there India, another country in economic growth, with 2,466,765,373 tons of Co2 emitted into the air. Followed by Russia (1,692,794,839 tons), Japan (1,205,061,178), the Germany (799.373.210), Iran (672.312.342), Saudi Arabia 635.011.087, South Korea (616.096.686) and Canada (572.782.585) to stay in the top ten. Italy is in nineteenth place with 355,454,172 tons of Co2 emitted into the air every year
The per capita ranking
The picture changes if you look at the ranking of emissions per capita. To occupy the first places in this ranking are the Arab countries, with the United States “knocking” on the door of the top ten and the new big polluters like China and India further behind. The data comes from another site that collects statistics on the globe, data.worldbank.org, processed on the basis of the figures provided by Climate data explorer.
To drive the per capita emissions ranking is Qatar, the country where the 2022 World Cup will take place. For each inhabitant of the emirate overlooking the Persian Gulf, 32.4 metric tons of Co2 are released into the air (1 metric ton is equivalent to 1.102311 tons). On the podium there are other states governed by oilmen. Kuwait with 21.6 metric tons per person per year and the United Arab Emirates with 20.8 metric tons per person. Then Bahrain (19.6 metric tons), the sultanate of Brunei (16.6) and the island of Palau (16.2). The first US state is Canada (15.5) on par with Australia (15.5).
The first European nation to appear in the ranking is the Luxembourg (15.3). Saudi Arabia closes the top ten, always with 15.3, immediately followed, in eleventh place, by the United States (15.2). Italy is 61st with 5.4 metric tons produced per person. And China and India, have you often ended up in the dock in recent times? China is in 38th place, with 7.4 metric tons per person, about half of the US. India is even 128th, with 1.8 metric tons released into the air per person.
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