Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are the main cause of climate change. Its effects on global warming are devastating, and it is becoming increasingly urgent to reduce these emissions and curb the pressure that humans exert on the planet. The situation is so critical that, by the International Energy Agency's assessment, if we continue not to remedy it emissions will be up 130% by 2050.
The most polluting countries seem to be aware of the need to reduce their emissions but, despite agreements like the Kyoto Protocol, these carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise.
Do you know which the planet’s most polluting countries are?
The terrible condition of the air in its cities is just one example of how this country, growing at breakneck speed, does not exercise sufficient control over its emissions. Development of this kind must take account of environmental risks, given that in just a few years it has overtaken the United States in terms of tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.
Being a great power also has its downside, as is the case of the United States. Not only is it one of the worst countries in terms in of CO2 emissions, but also with regard to water pollution and endangered species. The Obama government wishes to announce strong measures to cut back on these carbon emissions, in a country that has more than 600 electric power stations.
Another of the countries experiencing greatest economic development in recent years, once again, accompanied by an increase in greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. This is added to by the speed of deforestation of the Amazon region, one of the world's biggest green lungs. Brazil is also among the top countries in terms of endangered species and water pollution.
This has quickly become one of the world's most polluting countries. Furthermore, it is destroying forests at breakneck speed, so much so that it has reached 40% deforestation in less than 50 years. This Asian country has emission levels similar to those of European countries, and Jakarta, its capital, is one of the most polluted cities. As an example, we have only to visit the areas surrounding the Citarum River, one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
Fukushima is just the tip of the iceberg in a country where pollution getting worse day by day. The Japanese government set a target of a 3.8% reduction in emissions by 2020. Despite this, in February 2014 the highest rate of pollution was reached in increasingly large areas of the country, and the authorities had to recommend the use of masks and limit trips abroad.
Other countries with high emission rates are Russia, India, Germany, Australia and Canada. Most of the emissions that reach the atmosphere come from coal (43%), followed by oil (33%). Countries must rapidly direct their development toward clean and renewable energy, to curb emissions and avoid the dark forecast for 2050.
Yes to development, but always in a sustainable way!
Would you like to receive the best sustainability content in your e-mail?