Australian researchers have ranked the world’s nations based on their environmental impact using seven key indicators, including forest loss, habitat conversion, greenhouse gas emissions, and species loss.
The top 10 countries in terms of environmental impact are Brazil, the United States, China, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, India, Russia, Australia, and Peru.
After correlating the ranking with socio-economic variables, the researchers found that total wealth was the most important factor driving environmental impact.
“The richer a country, the greater its average environmental impact,” said Corey Bradshaw, director of the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute and lead author of the study, which was published in the journal PLoS ONE.
Among the worst performers in a relative ranking based on size are Singapore, Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, and Japan. There was no evidence, Bradshaw said, that rich nations — which have greater access to clean energy technologies — have a reduced environmental impact because of increased environmental awareness.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.