A new study has ranked the world's countries according to their negative impact on the environment. “Continued environmental degradation demands that countries needing solutions be identified urgently so that they can be assisted in environmental conservation and restoration,” recommended the researchers.
Seven indicators of environmental degradation were specified: natural forest loss, habitat conversion, marine life, fertilizer use, water pollution, carbon emissions, and species threats.
The top offenders in absolute global terms were:
2. United States
The world's 10 worst environmental performers according to the proportional environmental impact index (relative to resource availability) are: Singapore, Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, Thailand, Bahrain, Malaysia, Philippines and Netherlands.
Researchers from the University of Adelaide (Australia), Princeton University, and the National University of Singapore found that of the 228 countries examined, “increasing wealth was the most important driver of environmental impact.” This means that despite a wide array of resources and technologies, richer countries are more likely to be environmental offenders than developing countries.