Emissions from the British Empire double the UK’s responsibility for the climate crisis, study finds climate

Emissions from the British Empire double the UK’s responsibility for the climate crisis, study finds  climate

If we look at emissions from countries that were once under the colonial rule of the British Empire, we find that the UK is responsible for almost twice as much global warming as previously thought. That’s because when your past matters, 3% of total global emissions dating back to 1850 rise to more than 5%,offers An unprecedented study by Carbon Summary Which considered 46 countries that were once part of its domain. The analysis raises the UK from eighth to fourth place in a ranking of countries with the highest historical emissions, behind only the USA, China and Russia.

This jump may be due to the destruction of forests in colonial countries, with the largest contributors coming from India, Myanmar and Nigeria before their independence. Moreover, countries such as the Netherlands and France are also rising in the rankings of historical responsibility for the climate crisis. The Netherlands, which colonized Indonesia, rises from 35th to 12th place, with its cumulative emissions nearly tripling and France’s total emissions rising by 50%.

The organization also calculated cumulative emissions per person for each country since 1850, based on current population numbers, and concluded that the Netherlands has the highest historical emissions per capita, followed by the UK – among countries with at least 1 million people.

Dr Simon Evans, from Carbon Brave, said WatchmanHistorical emissions are important because there is a direct relationship between the amount of carbon dioxide emitted over time and the level of warming at the Earth’s surface. This means that greenhouse gases emitted 170 years ago are still contributing to the warming of the planet.

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“Our findings reinforce the significant historical responsibility that developed countries bear for current global warming, especially the former colonial powers in Europe. Many of these countries now have declining emissions. However, their relative wealth today – and their historical contributions to global warming Current – recognized within the framework of the international climate system is linked to the responsibility of supporting climate response in least developed countries.

Zahra Hadidou of ActionAid UK told the Guardian the analysis was “particularly devastating” for the UK: “As the world’s fourth-largest carbon emitter, it has a historic responsibility to tackle climate change, but its actions currently do not match its words.” “.

In 2022 during COP 27, rich developed countries agreed to establish a Loss and Damage Fund. A year later, the issue of responsibility must be reconsidered in the international climate negotiations conducted by the United Nations within the framework of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which begins on Thursday (31) in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

“The effects of climate change are responsible for devastating losses and damage in many former British colonial territories,” said Nfamara Damfa, a Gambian scientist at the University of Minnesota in the United States. “For example, Gambia’s capital, Banjul, is expected to be completely lost by 2100 if drastic measures are not taken,” he told The Guardian.

In its defence, a British government spokesperson responded: “This analysis ignores the fact that the UK is taking decisive action to reduce emissions much faster than any other major economy. Currently, the UK is responsible for just 1% of annual global emissions.”

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