10 Countries That Are Killing The Planet

10 Countries That Are Killing The Planet 10 Somalia As with a lot environmental underperformers, Somalia has struggled with almost 20 years of civil war

Only having re-establishing a permanent central government in 2012, ecological protection has gone by the wayside In 2014, Somalia finished last in the Environmental Performance Index The index annually ranks 178 countries on how well they combat high-priority environmental issues This ranking is largely due to the country’s focus on short-term survival in wartime, relying on widespread tree cutting and charcoal burning This has reduced Somalia’s forested areas to less than 200 sq

km in total, a rough 15% reduction since 1990 Another factor was the country’s poor biodiversity scores, which were impacted not only by deforestation, but Somalia’s illegal fishing trade An estimated $300 million worth of illegally plundered seafood each year has significantly affected marine life in the area, and after the Tsunami in 2005, nuclear waste washing ashore lead to the deaths of over 300 from radiation poisoning 9 China A 2016 study by the World Health Organization found that China is the world’s deadliest country for outdoor air pollution

It estimated that in 2012, they were responsible for over a 7th of the world’s deaths from outdoor air pollution, with over 15 million dying a year It’s also the world’s biggest emitter of Greenhouse Gas, accounting for around a third of the world’s production China have shown awareness of the danger their emissions pose the planet, becoming the world’s leading providers of solar energy in 2016 But in the same year, China backtracked on a policy that’s equally as impactful to the planet: overpopulation

At current rates of resource consumption, many scientists believe the Earth won’t support its population beyond the year 2100 With 14 billion inhabitants, China is Earth’s most populous nation, but they rescinded their one-child-per-family rule in 2016, and their population increased almost half a percent the same year 8 Russia After more than 80 years of the Soviet Union came to an end in 1991, Russia was left with severe environmental problems

Soviet Union leaders had long valued industrialisation and economic growth over pollution control, which became a low priority While this has largely improved, issues persist, almost 30 years later At 448%, Russia currently produces more of the global Greenhouse Gas Emissions than the 100 lowest countries combined And according to climate change advocacy group DARA, just under 100,000 people die in Russia every year as a result of carbon pollution

Russia have joined the Paris Agreement to curb global emission, but faced widespread criticism for their low targets Instead of trying to improve upon current output, Russia tasked themselves with producing 30% less CO2 than in 1990, starting in 2020 For the last few years, Russia have already been achieving this, and their unambitious goals landed them 7 places from the bottom in 2018’s Climate Change Performance Index, ranking 53rd 7 Australia Since the European settlement in the 1800’s, roughly 13% of Australia's original vegetation has been removed to make way for agricultural land

This deforestation has increased CO2 output, but also increased the salt content of the soil, with around 7% of Western Australia suffering from high soil salinity This, as well as extensive illegal fishing has significantly added to the extinction of Australia’s animals In 2005, 17 of 82 species in Australian waters were classified as overfished, and a study lead by Anthony Waldron of Oxford University estimated that Australia were responsible for 5 to 10% of the total global biodiversity loss between 1996 and 2008 The country are also serial polluters, discharging an estimated 19,000 tonnes of phosphorus and 141,000 tonnes of nitrogen a year into rivers that flow to the coast The world’s 16th biggest carbon emitters also recorded their highest emissions on record in 2017, placing them 57th in the 2018 Climate Change Performance Rankings

6 Afghanistan When years of civil war were followed by an American invasion, Afghanistan’s ecosystem has been significantly degraded In 2012, DARA identified climate change and pollution to be two of the country’s leading causes of premature death This is primarily attributed to food spoiling and water contamination, and took 90,000 lives in 2010 Another major impact on Afghanistan’s ecosystem is the rise of illegal hunting

Ongoing conflict has limited the government’s ability to successfully monitor the poaching, over 150 animal species are now at risk of extinction in the country However, Afghanistan’s first three national parks were built between 2012 and 2015 to combat this The country has also tried to combat its water crisis, providing clean water to around 77% of its population in 2017 This is up from around 55% just a year before, slightly reducing Afghanistan’s position as a major proponent of the spread on water borne diseases 5

Saudi Arabia As the world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia has contributed significantly to perpetuating a world built around oil-based energy production The country produced 17% of global oil exports in 2015, and they are the 10th biggest carbon emitters on the planet, despite only having the 10th largest land mass Frequent oil spills and the infilling of 40% of its coastlines have led to Saudi Arabia’s ocean being a highly inhabitable area for most fish species 50 percent of its mangrove trees have been wiped out, which has been shown to decrease the population of certain types of fish up to 25 times Saudi Arabia ranked 60th in the 2018 Climate Change Performance Index, earning bottom place

This was attributed to the country’s very low ratings in every single category, and in all indicators for emissions and renewable energy Weak climate change policies, and poor appearance in international negotiations was also blamed 4 Indonesia Despite having the 17th largest land area, Indonesia is the world’s fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gas This can mostly be attributed to mass conversion of its forests and carbon-rich areas known as peatlands to make way for agricultural land

In 2010, the climate change advocacy group DARA reported that this level of carbon emission is responsible for roughly 150,000 deaths a year Currently, the study estimates that this death toll will rise to 200,000 a year by 2030, although the Indonesian government has committed to a minimum 26% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to curb this Conversion of Indonesia’s natural land has also considerably affected the species that inhabit the nation A 2017 study published in the online journal ‘Nature’ found that Indonesia had ‘absolutely the highest number of declining species’, having been responsible for 21 percent of the global decline between 1996 and 2008 3

India In the last 30 years, over 14,000 square kilometers of India’s forests have been cleared to make way for industrial projects, reducing India’s forestation by around 5% Some of this was for hydroelectric plants, but the majority has been repurposed for mining, fuelling the coal industry at the expense of the planet’s natural resources This mass industrialisation also meant that India is home to 11 of the 20 most polluted cities on the entire planet This is largely because India’s near 15 billion person population is growing at an average rate of 1

2% per annum, and is projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country This will have numerous fallouts for the planet, including its growing consumption of non-biodegradable plastic and waning hygiene standards in rural areas, increasing pollution and decreasing population All of this saw India drop 36 places in the Environmental Performance ranks between 2016 and 2018, now sitting just four places from the bottom 2 USA Despite ranking 27th in the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, the United States was one of the worst performers of all the industrialised nations

Another 2018 study, the Climate Change Performance Index, ranked the US 56th out of the 60 countries it studied The Index attributed this to the fallout of the new administration’s climate change policies This saw the world’s second largest carbon gas emitter dismantle its clean power plan, increase its CO2 emission by 14 million metric tons and leave the Paris Climate Agreement And given the country’s relative power in the world, the ramifications of their environmental decisions carry considerable weight Their proposed Greenhouse Gas cuts in the agreement would have accounted for 20% of the entire global emission cuts outlined in the deal

So as Global Warming approaches a point of no return, America’s absence from the deal will see significant ramifications in the years to come 1 Brazil Brazil is home to the Amazon Rainforest, the largest rainforest on Earth, known as ‘The Lungs of the World’ The Amazon recycles carbon dioxide to produce more than 20% of the Earth’s Oxygen, but over 150 acres of the forest are destroyed every minute for various reasons, including Brazil’s vast cocoa exports Over 20% of the Amazon has already been destroyed, releasing stored carbon dioxide into the ozone

It’s also believed that the planet loses 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation, and Brazil has the world’s largest area of forest removed annually In 2010, the Union of Concerned Scientists revealed that the country had reduced deforestation by 67% since 2005 But in 2017, the abolishment of an Amazonian reserve the size of Denmark was described by the Sustainability Network party, as the “biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years”, casting a serious shadow over Brazil’s environmental future So that was 10 Countries That Are Killing The Planet Did your country make the list? Any big surprises? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to like and subscribe

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