US, China, and India are the top global polluters

Diania Estefana Rubio

US, China, and India are the top global polluters

In recent years, the world has witnessed a noticeable increase in the greenhouse effect phenomenon due to the increasing and continuous burning of fossil fuels, threatening Earth’s life-friendly temperatures.

According to the Global Carbon Atlas, the world’s top polluters are China, India, and the US, which accounted for 52% of the world’s CO₂ in 2021.

Historically, the US has been the largest carbon emitter, releasing 422 billion metric tons of CO₂ into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. This is equivalent to almost a quarter of all CO₂ produced from fossil fuels and industrial activities.

Given their massive populations and the fact that countries typically increase their emissions as they become more developed, China and India may continue to grow their shares even further.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that India’s share of global emissions could rise to 10% by 2030.

All of these major contributors of carbon to the atmosphere have set goals to reduce emissions over the next decades. While the US targets net-zero emissions by 2050, China aims for carbon neutrality by 2060.

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