This Country Is the Worst Polluter in the World

The world’s largest nations are desperately trying to lessen the behavior that has massively negative effects on the climate and causes global warming. Most recently at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, the discussion has been about limiting methane and deforestation. Much of the blame for global warming has been put on several industrial nations, particularly China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan. The problem has become so severe that Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain commented: “These great teeming ecosystems — these cathedrals of nature, are the lungs of our planet.”

CO2 emissions can be measured by nation based on total tonnes per year. By this measure, China tops this list, according to Selectra “with 9.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, largely due to the export of consumer goods and its heavy reliance on coal.” The United States is second with 4.9 tonnes, followed by India at 2.4 tonnes.

Another measure may be more telling. This is tonnes of CO2 per capita. Based on a per capita measure, Qatar ranks first at 37.05, followed by Kuwait at 23.49 and Saudi Arabia at 19.39.

Based on proven oil reserves, Saudi Arabia ranks second with 267,026 million barrels. Kuwait ranks sixth at 104,000 million and Qatar ranks 14th at 25,244 million.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia ranks 41st by population at 34,813,871. Qatar ranks 109th at 2,881,053 and Kuwait ranks 129th at 4,270,571.

While the focus of restrictions centers squarely on the largest polluters by tonnes, the per capita emissions are rarely mentioned. However, the pollution problem is an issue for its own citizens, as the WHO reported:

In accordance with the World Health Organization’s guidelines, the air quality in Saudi Arabia is considered unsafe – the most recent data indicates the country’s annual mean concentration of PM2.5 is 88 µg/m3, exceeding the recommended maximum of 10 µg/m3.

Click here to read about the 30 most polluted places on earth.