The recent devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma is a timely reminder about how global warming can wreak havoc on the world, and for this we can blame the countries that are the biggest contributors to global warming and climate change. When the President of the biggest superpower in the world cannot admit that climate change is a real issue, you know the world is in trouble.
Some countries have realized the effect that global warming is having on the world and the dangers that are bound to follow it. To learn more about them, you can read our article on the Best Climate Change Charities in US, Canada, UK, and Australia. For me, this is the biggest issue currently facing the world, bar none. We can make it through droughts, we can battle through wars and we can labor through injustice but once Mother Nature turns her fury on you, there is no place to take refuge. Further, it’s not like we don’t have any evidence pertaining to this stark reality. Take a look at the recent floods in Mumbai, following unprecedented rain and you can understand what we are facing. Look at the destruction left behind by Hurricane Harvey, despite knowing about its path well in advance, and you will understand how powerless we are to fight against this. If you are still not sufficiently alarmed, head on over to the Countries that Will Be Underwater Due to Global Warming.
There are various sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and you might be surprised to learn about some of the sources in fact. While everyone knows that numerous industries are to blame for large scale emissions of greenhouse gases, you might be astonished to know that these account for only 21% of the total greenhouse emissions in the United States. If you were to consider greenhouse gas emissions by source, the production of electricity is the biggest problem, contributing 29% of the total greenhouse gases, followed by transportation which accounts for 27% of the total emissions. If we move on to global greenhouse gas emissions by sector, we notice a similar trend. Electricity and heat production account for the largest emissions, followed by agriculture and land use.
Despite the obvious threat posed by global warming and climate change, there still isn’t a lot of recent research to back up the arguments. For example, if you search for CO2 emissions by country 2015, CO2 emissions by country 2016 or greenhouse gas emissions by country 2016, you will find little to no data for these years as the last global studies were conducted several years ago. Unfortunately, this means that we will be unable to understand changing trends and incorporate them in our fight to reduce, and hopefully even reverse, global warming in the near future. Till then, you can refer 2014 figures in our article on the Worst Countries That Are Responsible For Global Warming.
We used carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to create our ranking as CO2 is considered to be the most dangerous among the greenhouse gases when it comes to global warming, making over 65% of the total greenhouse gases in the US alone. We didn’t just select countries that have the unfortunate honor of being the countries with high CO2 emissions. After all, the United States will always have a larger CO2 output than Luxembourg because its population is several times that of Luxembourg. Instead, we also considered countries who had the highest carbon emissions per capita, and the biggest percentage increase in their output of CO2 emissions. This ensures more accurate rankings as this means that we have considered countries who have generally been considered major contributors to global warming and yet have taken significant steps to ensure that the growth rate of CO2 emissions is decreased and in some cases, there has even been a fall in CO2 emissions, which represents huge achievements for countries such as Denmark and Switzerland, who have seen a decrease in CO2 emissions by over 8% in one year! Once again, the countries who have managed to decrease such emissions belong to Western Europe, as they have realized the importance of their actions and the future that awaits if such practices are not reduced. Without further ado, here is our list of countries that are the biggest contributors to global warming and climate change, starting with number 15: