pol 820x443 - United States, China and the top 4 major polluters in the world

United States, China and the top 4 major polluters in the world

Recently, the Donald Trump administration pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, much to global dismay. The Trump administration pointed out the inherent disadvantages to the US in the accord, which aren’t entirely true.  The question seems to be, will the US’s withdrawal make that much of a difference in the fight against climate change?

The short and simple answer is, yes. The US is the second largest contributor to pollution after China. If you consider emissions per capita, the US is by far the largest contributor. We talked in an earlier post about the causes of pollution, and here we look at who are the main contributors on a global scale and what they are doing to combat it.


china - United States, China and the top 4 major polluters in the world

It is not surprising the China is at the top of the list, considering the population of the country. Beijing and Shanghai have been amongst the most populated cities in the world for a while now. China’s annual emissions are around 10,357 million metric tons, however the nation is investing hundreds of billions of dollars to promote renewable energy

United States

The United States leads the world in terms of emissions per capita, but is second to China on total emissions. The US’s traditional dependence and political affiliations to coal, oil and natural gas, combined with the current government’s stance towards climate change, it is difficult to see progress here. However, private investments in renewable energy are the highest in the world.


India, the second most populous country, emits 2,274 metric tons annually. India’s major cities like Delhi and Mumbai have the worst air quality levels for human sustenance, and the PSI has repeatedly gone to levels that are 10 times the maximum permissible limits. However, India’s commendable efforts in renewable energy means the nation is currently fourth in terms of installed wind power capacity. In a single year, the country increased its renewable power generation capacity by 11.788 GW.

russia - United States, China and the top 4 major polluters in the world


Russia is the fourth largest emitter in the world, and it wouldn’t come as any surprise. Russia is among the top 3 exporters of natural gas and hydrocarbons and is known for its vast untapped oil resources. Unfortunately, Russia’s progress in clean energy is nowhere near enough to correct this. The country’s health data is also susceptible, as there seem to be many inconsistencies in the exact levels of pollution.

In short, the Asia countries of India and China are leading the way today on the combat against pollution. We are hopeful on the private sector in the US to continue its renewable investments, and encourage Russian citizens and the government to gradually shift towards clean energy.

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