US Liable for $2 Trillion in Global Economic Damage from Climate Change-Driven Pollution
US Liable for $2 Trillion in Global Economic Damage from Climate Change-Driven Pollution

US: According to a recent study by climate scientists at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, the production of greenhouse gases by the United States has hurt other countries economies by about $1.9 trillion. According to them doing so lays the foundation for liability claims for the damages.

The study which was published in the journal Climatic Change explains how a series of disasters have been brought on by the planet's warming climate which has been fueled by industrial gases that trap sunlight and raise global temperatures. Many of these disasters have struck the world's less developed and poorer countries. 

The researchers studied the heat waves crop failures droughts and flooding that were thought to have been exacerbated by climate change over a 25-year period from 1990 to 2014. Since climate change only exacerbates existing natural disasters it was a difficult task.
In order to quantify each nation's responsibility for historically temperature-driven changes in income in every other country the scientists combined historical data with climate models in an integrated framework.  

The five countries with the highest emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and methane, in addition to the US, China, Russia, Brazil, and India. 
However, they did more than just calculate the US' impact. They have collectively damaged the economies of other countries by an estimated $6 trillion, with the US bearing the majority of the blame given that it has been an industrialised country for almost 200 years. That equates to about 11% of the planet's annual gross domestic product during the study's time period. 

The most recent year for which data is available is 2019  that shows the US had 14.7 metric tonnes of carbon emissions per American citizen. With Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and a few other small oil-producing countries ahead of the US, that ranks as the 11th-highest in the world. With 7.6 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted per person in 2019, China comes in at number 28. 

At a global climate summit in April 2021, countries from all over the world committed to significantly reducing their carbon emissions over the ensuing decades in order to achieve "carbon neutrality." Without intervention, greenhouse gases will keep raising the Earth's surface temperature, disrupting the weather patterns that support agriculture and aquaculture, and, more dangerously, melting glaciers and polar ice caps that will result in rising sea levels.

According to a 2021 study that appeared in Nature Communications, at least 410 million people live in areas that are threatened by rising ocean levels. These people reside in areas that would be submerged under the sea if the sea level rose by one metre by the year 2100 as predicted. 

Emissions of greenhouse gases from one country cause warming in another, which can impede economic growth. This study can provide legally significant estimates of the financial losses that various countries have endured as a result of other countries' climate change activities.

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