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15 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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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:

15. United Kingdom

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 400

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 16

Carbon emissions per capita: 6.2

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 17

Insider Monkey Score: 13.5

The UK is one of the major contributors towards global warming, and needs to change its ways fast to mitigate the expected damage which will occur in the forthcoming years. The country is bracing to face a significant increase in windstorms as well as risks of flooding due to climate change.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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14. India

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 2,470

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 3

Carbon emissions per capita: 1.9

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 29

Insider Monkey Score: 13.5

While India is attempting to become a superpower, the rules regulating various industries in the country are not as stringent as in more developed nations, which is why India is among the countries that are the biggest contributors to global warming and climate change. Further, a lack of awareness regarding the effect of global warming means little action has been taken to counter this threat.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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12. Taiwan

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 280

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 21

Carbon emissions per capita: 11.9

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 8

Insider Monkey Score: 15.5

Taiwan needs to lay greater emphasis on its position as one of the countries that are the biggest contributors to global warming and climate change. Due to the fact that it is near the sea, Taiwan faces a huge risk of floods and its cities being submerged in the near future.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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12. South Africa

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 420

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 15

Carbon emissions per capita: 7.7

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 14

Insider Monkey Score: 15.5

Despite the fact that temperatures in South Africa are increasing at a rate higher than the average, the country remains one of the leading contributors to global warming.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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11. Kazakhstan

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 270

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 23

Carbon emissions per capita: 15.2

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 5

Insider Monkey Score: 16

At least some of the countries in this list of countries that are the biggest contributors to global warming and climate change have recognized the impact of their actions, which is why Kazakhstan has enacted laws to counter the growing emissions of greenhouse gases.

10. Iran

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 630

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 8

Carbon emissions per capita: 8

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 13

Insider Monkey Score: 19.5

Iran is proof of the fact that global warming is not a myth, hoax or an exaggeration. Instead, we now have photos which can demonstrate the effect global warming has had on the country.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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9. Germany

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 780

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 6

Carbon emissions per capita: 9.6

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 11

Insider Monkey Score: 21.5

Germany is among the countries that are the biggest contributors to global warming and climate change although it’s one of the European countries which has shown great commitment towards the reduction of emission of greenhouse gases, with 78% of the country’s electricity being produced through renewable energy resources.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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7. Australia

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 450

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 14

Carbon emissions per capita: 18.6

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 2

Insider Monkey Score: 22

Australia has set the noble goal for the country –  net zero carbon pollution by 2050 to combat the effects of climate change.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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7. South Korea

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 620

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 9

Carbon emissions per capita: 12.1

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 7

Insider Monkey Score: 22

While South Korea has developed at an astonishing rate, it has massively contributed to climate change in its haste as well.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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6. China

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 10,720

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 1

Carbon emissions per capita: 7.7

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 14

Insider Monkey Score: 22.5

China may be the largest contributor to CO2 emissions in the world, but it has taken positive steps towards reducing its impact on global emissions of CO2. Nevertheless it’s on our list of countries that are the biggest contributors to global warming and climate change.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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4. Saudi Arabia

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 510

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 10

Carbon emissions per capita: 16

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 4

Insider Monkey Score: 23

While Saudi Arabia may have ratified the Paris Agreement pertaining to climate change, its lax and noncommittal attitude has led to many doubting the country’s sincerity in this regard.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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4. Japan

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 1,260

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 5

Carbon emissions per capita: 9.9

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 9

Insider Monkey Score: 23

Becoming the leading country in technology comes at an expense, namely, because of large emissions of greenhouse gases, the agricultural industry of the country is under severe threat.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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3. Russia

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 1,760

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 4

Carbon emissions per capita: 12.3

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 6

Insider Monkey Score: 25

It’s not a surprise that Russia is on the list of countries that are the biggest contributors to global warming and climate change. According to President Putin, global warming is inevitable, leading many people to doubt Russia’s sincerity in trying to combat climate change.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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2. Canada

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 680

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 7

Carbon emissions per capita: 19

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 1

Insider Monkey Score: 26

Canada ranks surprisingly high on this list, though as mentioned earlier, it has undertaken efforts and opened charities whose purpose is to fight against global warming.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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1. United States of America

Total carbon emissions in million metric tonnes: 5,180

Ranking in respect of total carbon emissions: 2

Carbon emissions per capita: 16.1

Ranking in respect of carbon emissions per capita: 3

Insider Monkey Score: 27.5

Not only does the US top the list of 15 countries that are the biggest contributors to global warming and climate change, considering how the country withdrew from the Paris Agreement, it looks like it will stay in this position for the foreseeable future.

 Countries that Are the Biggest Contributors to Global Warming and Climate Change

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