Since 1850, carbon dioxide has accumulated around the world. If the most industrialized countries are logically in the world ranking of the biggest polluters, the persistent use of fossil energy to the detriment of more sustainable alternatives must also be taken into account.
Who are the biggest polluters on the planet? The specialized site Carbon Brief delivered its verdict, and as you might expect, the numbers are worrying. Since 1850, Humanity has emitted no less than 2.5 trillion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. A figure which obviously contributes to the rise in global temperatures, but which has also grown exponentially in recent decades.
Logically, it is the most populous and most industrialized countries that emit the most greenhouse gases. At the top of the ranking, we thus find China, with more than 9.8 billion tonnes released in 2019 alone. A significant score, far ahead of the United States (4.9 billion), India (2.5 billion) and Russia (1.5 billion). It must be said that in addition to being one of the most industrialized countries on the planet, China also has a industrial policy still based on the exploitation of fossil ores. The country has a good number of coal-fired power stations, and has just ordered the reopening of 72 mines with the aim of increasing its production rate. All in an attempt to minimize a global shortage of raw materials, which particularly affects the IT sector.
The United States champions since 1850
By analyzing the carbon emissions of the last 170 years, Carbon Brief on the other hand, awards the palme d’or for the most polluting country in the United States. For a little over a century and a half, the country has accounted for about 20% of the CO2 accumulated in the world, or just under 510 billion tonnes. If China has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, it still lags far behind with “only” 11% of greenhouse gases accumulated since 1850. France for its part climbs to twelfth place in the ranking, with 38.5 billion tons of accumulated CO2, from which we must subtract 3 billion tons of growth linked to forests .
And per capita?
Although it is full of information, the classification does not take into account the population of each country, the most populated areas logically emit more greenhouse gases. In this exercise, New Zealand tops the ranking, with 5,764 tonnes of CO2 per year and per capita. Next come Canada (4,772 tonnes), Australia (4,013 tonnes) and the United States (3,820 tonnes).