According to a new research that provides the first quantification of nations’ accountability in fanning the climate problem, the United States has caused more than $1.9 trillion in harm to other countries as a result of its greenhouse gas emissions.

The massive amount of planet-warming gases emitted by the United States, the largest historical emitter, has caused so much harm to other, mostly poor, countries through heatwaves, crop failures, and other consequences that the US is responsible for $1.91 trillion in lost global income since 1990, according to the study.

This places the United States ahead of China, the world’s greatest emitter, as well as Russia, India, and Brazil as the next highest contributors to global economic harm caused by emissions. Since 1990, these five primary causes have generated a total of $6 trillion in damages globally, or around 11% of yearly global GDP, through fuelling climate collapse.

“It’s a huge number,” Chris Callahan, a researcher at Dartmouth College and the study’s primary author, told The Guardian of the total economic loss. “It’s not surprising that the US and China are at the top of that list but the numbers really are very stark. For the first time, we can show that a country’s emissions can be traced to specific harm.”

To determine the specific effect of each individual country’s contribution to the climate catastrophe, the Dartmouth researchers merged a variety of different models that showed aspects such as emissions, local climatic conditions, and economic developments. They searched for these relationships from 1990 to 2014, and their findings were published in the journal Climatic Change.

They discovered a deadly unequal picture: wealthier countries in northern latitudes, such as those in North America and Europe, have done the most to drive climate change yet have not yet been seriously hurt economically as a result. Countries like Canada and Russia have benefited from longer agricultural growing seasons and fewer cold-related mortality as winters have warmed.

Source: The Guardian


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