Monday 24th October 2016                 Change text size:

Who is responsible for climate change?

Who is responsible for climate change?

As climate change negotiations in Durban draw to a close, we look at the countries that are most responsible for global warming, and ask whether they are the ones to blame for it. Charlotte Reid has more.

An infographic map from The Guardian of the world’s carbon emissions shows that China is the worst offender.

The results show that top five polluting countries are:

  1. China with 6.83 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year
  2. USA with 5.20 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year
  3. India with 1.59 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year
  4. Russia with 1.53 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year
  5. Japan with 1.09 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year

The UK may not appear in the top five, but it is 10th contributing 0.47 billion tonnes of C02 a year.

In November, we wrote about how China had overtaken the US in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. However, these results do not take population into account. When it is, the US is still the worst polluter, with China and India far behind.

On top of that, China has actually made a number of commitments to the environment, with an attempt to become one of the world’s leading exporters of desalinated water. The country has put a multi-billion dollar infrastructure in place to help create water by converting salt water into fresh water.

Over the past decade, the superpower has invested in clean technology, with it bringing in over £40 million a year now.

Although there is a possibility of a last minute deal on reducing carbon emissions at Durban, developed countries haven’t been leading by example in terms of the environment.

Throughout the climate talks, the US, the second largest polluter in the world, has not been keen to get an agreement on tackling carbon emissions plus they are not even signed up to the Kyoto Protocol.

Canada, who is eighth worst polluter, has been threatening to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, as well as being involved in the harmful oil sands project that damages the land, air and water and uses fossil fuels to help extract the oil.

In the UK, we have recently cut subsidies for the Feed-in-Tariff, hurting the solar power industry. George Osborne’s recent Autumn Statement did not convince green campaigners either who cast doubt on the “greenest ever Government” by accusing them of disregarding the environment.

Developing countries are the ones that can feel the effects of climate change already and are clearly already trying to help tackle this, but this is a battle that everyone needs to be involved in and something that we all need to care about.

If you want to help in the fight against climate change then contact your financial adviser, if you have one, or let us find you one through our online form. Or you could make the switch to using renewable energy.

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