India is one of the top three polluting countries of the world. This has led to mounting global pressure on the country to reduce its emissions. It is not a surprise that India features in the list considering the high population density in the country. However, when it comes to per capita emissions, it does not even feature in the top 10 list.
Top 10 Most Polluting Countries Per Capita 2022
Qatar is the world’s greatest CO2 emitter per capita, with 37,05 tonnes of carbon dioxide produced by a population of little over 2 million people. That’s more than double the national average in the United States. CO2 emissions peaked in 2005, according to the World Bank, at 47,7. Nonetheless, according to IQAir, PM2.5 concentrations in the air in Doha, Qatar’s capital and home to 80% of the country’s population, are seven times higher than WHO recommendations.
Kuwait, with a population of 4,3 million people, emits 23,49 tonnes of CO2 per capita, three times that of China. In the summer of 2021, the Middle Eastern country experienced temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius, with seahorses and clams boiling alive on the country’s coasts. According to NBC News, scientists predict that if Kuwait continues to burn oil for energy and engage in other ecologically unfriendly behaviours, the country will become uninhabitable to human life by the end of the twenty-first century.
3. Saudi Arabia
With a population of 34 million people, the largest country in the Middle East is responsible for an average of 19.39 tonnes of CO2 per person. Saudi Arabia’s oil sector, as the largest OPEC exporter, has taken a toll on the country, from air pollution to oil spills to inefficient energy use. Deforestation and desertification are two more difficulties that the Middle Eastern country is dealing with.
With 16,85 CO2 emissions per person in its 38 million population, the Great White North outperforms its southern neighbour. According to Canadian government data, the majority of it comes from oil, gas, and transportation. According to the CBC, the Berlin-based think tank Hot for Cool Institute claims that if Canada wants to meet the Paris Agreement’s targets, Canadians must lower their carbon footprint by 95 percent by 2050.
5. The United States of America
According to the Global Carbon Project, the United States is responsible for 15% of global CO2 emissions, with each person contributing 15.74 tonnes. Industry, transportation, and electricity generation account for the majority of it. Although the government has reduced its reliance on coal in recent years, crude oil remains a major source of energy. With 4,7 billion metric tonnes of CO2 released in 2019, the United States is the world’s second-largest carbon dioxide emitter, after only China.
The Federal Republic of Germany, with a population of over 82 million people, produces the most CO2 per capita in Europe, at 9.7 tonnes per capita. The floods that struck the European nation in 2021 serve as a sobering reminder of how powerless a country may be, despite its wealth and resources. Nonetheless, it appears that environmental awareness among Germans has grown in recent years. With 15% of the vote in the 2021 General Election, the Green Party became the country’s third political force.
According to the United Nations, the population of 1.4 billion residing in the People’s Republic of China generates an average of 7.72 tonnes of CO2. According to data from the Global Carbon Project, this Asian behemoth is responsible for 24 percent of all global carbon emissions. According to a research published in The Lancet in 2020, air pollution killed 1.24 million individuals in China in 2017. According to the Global Carbon Project, the country’s largest source of CO2 emissions is fossil fuels, particularly coal.
With 6.09 tonnes of CO2 produced per person in the Southern European country, Spain and its 47 million inhabitants pass France to take eighth place. According to the Swiss business IQAir’s Air Quality Index, the southern European country ranks 88th out of 106 countries. According to their research, Spain has twice the World Health Organization’s recommended PM2.5 level.
According to the UN report, France is the first G7 country to make the list, but it is far from the last, with 5.02 per capita. According to a November 2021 article on France24, the country is now falling short of its 2050 carbon-neutral goal. The French government has been heavily investing in nuclear energy, among other techniques. Currently, France is the world’s largest consumer of nuclear energy per capita, accounting for 70% of the country’s electric output.
This Southeast Asian kingdom has a population of over 70 million people and emits an average of 4.05 tonnes of CO2 per person, making it the tenth most polluting country in the planet. Thailand is currently dealing with environmental issues such as deforestation, water scarcity, and air pollution, the latter of which is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year.
According to the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, Thailand ranks 167th out of 190 countries in terms of air pollution, with Bangkok, the country’s capital, ranking first.
Although India’s per capita emissions are not among the highest, it does contribute to significant amount of emissions. In order to combat against climate change, India is spending heavily in the development of renewable energy sources in order to minimise its greenhouse gas emissions. To that end, the country has also committed to go net-zero by 2070.