These are the major causes of global warming. Climate change today is a result of our own actions. People’s lifestyle causes acceleration of a natural process. We must not forget that the last change of this kind involves an increase of 5 °C, which changes all life on the planet, but it takes 5000 years for this to happen.
Today the temperature is rising faster due to global warming. Estimates are that, at the rate we’re going, by 2100 we could reach a 5 °C rise. Meaning, in less than 120 years the same thing that happened naturally in 5000 will happen.
And this happens because the countries that are the dirtiest are the ones with the most money and power. And they end up officially or unofficially dictating the rules. The poorest and most vulnerable countries are not only not the biggest emitters, but they suffer the climate consequences of foreign GHG pollution.
China is the king of CO2 emissions worldwide, with 33% of all produced on the planet. It is followed by the US with 12.5%, the European Union and India with 7.3 and 7% respectively and Russia with 5.1. In other words, together, they are responsible for almost 65% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
For the people
Per capita emissions are calculated by dividing global emissions by the number of inhabitants. And in this case it is the US that stands out, with 17.6% (with 332 Million People). Then comes Russia with 13.3% (143.4 MP), South Korea 12.6 (almost 52 MP), Iran 10.8% (88 MP) and Japan 9% (126MP). China is the sixth country with 8.6 and 1412 million People and India occupies the 10th place with 2.5% and 1408 million inhabitants.
In this case, we define the environmental metric that accounts for all greenhouse gas emissions directly or indirectly in each country or region. In this case, the US is again on top with 21 Tons of CO2 per inhabitant. While the EU is second with 11 (332 MP) and China is third with 8.
Countries that pollute history
If we look at the percentages of pollution accumulated since the Industrial Revolution (approximately 1850) the positions have not changed much. The US accounted for 21.6. The European Union and the United Kingdom 15.6. China ranked third with 13.3. Russia and India complete the top 5 table with 6.8 and 4.5, respectively.
What can we conclude?
Suppose that after the last meeting of the G20 (that is, 10% of the world’s countries), instead of reaching a consensus, it ended with a clear division into two blocs. On the one hand, developing or developing countries are asking for time and financing to solve the CO2 problem. On the other hand, the powerful, who demand a lot, but do not accept responsibility for the damage caused by their pollution.
To find solutions for the next COP28, UN Secretary General António Guterres convened a meeting last week. And there were notable absences at the Climate Ambition Summit. ‘Accidental’ omissions, as we have seen, are responsible for the highest rate of contamination.
The only logical conclusion to reach is that all countries must start doing something. The time for dialogue and negotiation is over. It is time for concrete actions. Because we’ve missed the point of no return to climate change that scientists warn is so close, there’s little left to save. These are the major causes of global warming.