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Home > > 2024 Climate Study: Examining Industrial Practices and Climate Impact 

2024 Climate Study: Examining Industrial Practices and Climate Impact 

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A new study conducted by Boiler Cover UK analysed the impact that essential industries have on climate change in different countries. The study highlighted some alarming data related to climate change, shedding light on the importance of preserving natural resources.

The countries with the highest and lowest CO2 emissions

Infographics 01

 

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a major contributor to global warming and climate change. These emissions trap heat in the atmosphere, leading to the greenhouse effect, which causes rising temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns.

The study analysed 52 countries to find out which ones are at the forefront of mitigating climate change.

Top 10 countries with the lowest CO2 emissions

According to the results, South European country Montenegro is the country with the lowest total CO2 emissions (2,292,498 kt), followed by Iceland and Moldova (375,318 kt and 3,435,931 kt respectively).

When considering the CO2 emissions per capita, Luxembourg, Iceland and Estonia rank 49th, 48th and 43rd in the ranking, with 11.4 kt, 9.4 and 7.7 kt respectively. It is surprising to see that Luxembourg, despite being a small country, ranks just before Canada and the US, even though its population is nearly 60 times smaller than Canada's, and 519 smaller than the US’s!

Top 10 countries with the highest CO2 emissions per capita

Top 10 countries with the highest CO2 emissions

The findings show China, United States and India have the highest total annual CO2 emissions (11,400,000,000 kt, 5,057,303,600 kt and 2,830,000,000 kt respectively). Whilst some of the countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan and the US maintain a high CO2 emission per capita, others such as Brazil, Mexico, India and Indonesia don’t.  

Top 10 countries with the lowest CO2 emissions per capita 

India and Brazil are among the countries with the lowest emissions per capita (1.9 kt and 2.2 kt respectively).

In addition, the results show Central American countries Honduras and Guatemala at the top of the ranking, with 1.05 and 1.06 CO2 emissions per capita respectively, followed by the Philippines (1.2 kt annually). 

Good and bad forestry and the effects on climate change

Good and bad forestry and the effects on climate change

Forestry plays an essential role in environmental health and the global climate. While sustainable forestry practices can offer significant ecological benefits, including carbon sequestration and biodiversity preservation, poor forestry practices have the opposite effect, contributing substantially to climate change.

We analysed 52 countries and explored their forestry practices to see which ones are most and least committed to preserving their forests and safeguarding Earth’s natural resources.

The countries with the best forestry practice for climate change

Based on the results, Brazil, Sweden and Finland are the countries with the best forestry practices for climate change.

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Brazil

With 59.4% of its land covered by forest (a total of 496,619,600 hectares in 2020), Brazil is the top country for its forestry relating to climate change. Showing a negative deforestation rate of -0.1567% between 1990 and 2020, the South American country has shown progress over the years in terms of tree preservation by planting 1,122,360 hectares of the current forest area. The country also shows the highest amount of naturally generated forest area (485,396,000 hectares).

While in the past Brazil has had a reputation for excessive deforestation, the data suggests that the South American country has the biggest forest area naturally regenerating, totaling 4,85,396,000 hectares. This might contribute to its place in the ranking.

Sweden

With the second-highest share of forest land (68.8%), following Finland (73.7%), Sweden is the second-best country for its forestry.

Despite the country’s annual CO2 emissions being a little less than average (36,163,000 kt), Sweden has one of the highest amounts of forest area planted (13,912,000 hectares), following more vastly populated countries like China, the US and Canada (84,696,296, 27,521,000 and 18,163,390 hectares respectively).

With a negative deforestation rate change of -0.003% between 1990 and 2020, the Swedish know how to look after their forests.

Finland

With the highest share of land covered by forest out of all the countries analysed (73.7%), Finland is the third-best country for forestry. Covering an area of just 338,462 km² (25 times smaller than Brazil), Finland counts a staggering 22,409,000 hectares of forest area. While the deforestation rate amounts to 0.0244%, the country ranks 8th for hectares of forest area planted (7,368,080), following Japan and Brazil (10,184,000 and 11,223,600 hectares respectively).

The countries with the worst forestry practices in relation to climate change

Iceland

Displaying the highest deforestation rate from 1990 to 2020 at 2%, and the smallest share of forest land at 0.5%, which totals only 51,350 hectares, Iceland is the worst-performing country in terms of its forestry.

The low number of hectares of naturally regenerating forest area (11,790) suggests a hostile environment for forests to grow, which might be a contributing factor to Iceland's position as the bottom-ranked country in forestry.

Netherlands

With 10.9% of its land covered by forests (a total of 369,500 hectares), the Netherlands is the second-least effective country in forestry practices. Despite the country's deforestation rate being slightly below average at 0.0725%, the Netherlands has the second-smallest area of naturally regenerated forest, only larger than Iceland's, at 37,920 hectares.

Ireland

With 11.35% of its area covered by forests, totaling 782,020 hectares, Ireland ranks as the third-worst country in forestry performance. This ranking is likely due to its high deforestation rate of 0.69%, the highest after Iceland and Uruguay, which have rates of 2% and 1.54% respectively, placing the country so high in the ranking. The area of naturally regenerated forest in the country is also small, totaling 107,800 hectares.

Sustainable and unsustainable fishery practices

Unsustainable fishery practices exacerbate climate change by disrupting marine ecosystems and reducing biodiversity. Overfishing and destructive techniques damage habitats crucial for carbon sequestration, releasing stored carbon into the atmosphere. Additionally, intensive aquaculture contributes to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable fisheries are then vital for preserving marine ecosystems and combating climate change.

We analysed the fishery practices of 44 different countries to identify the most and least sustainable ones for climate change.

Infographics 03 1

The most sustainable countries for fishery

Slovakia

With an aquaculture production of 2,296 metric tonnes, Slovakia has the fourth-lowest output among all countries, after Argentina, Switzerland and Uruguay (2,084.5, 2,048.1 and 103 metric tonnes respectively). In terms of capture fisheries production, Slovakia's output of 1,736 metric tonnes is the fourth lowest, following Switzerland, Cyprus and Austria, which have outputs of 1,485.93, 1,265.81 and 350 metric tonnes respectively.

In terms of seafood production, Slovakia has observed the third most significant decline among all the countries, with a decrease of 0.563% over the past 60 years. This reduction may indicate shifts in the nation's fishing practices but does not necessarily imply superior sustainability.

Switzerland

Despite the country’s low aquaculture production (2,048.1 metric tonnes) second only to Uruguay (103 metric tonnes), Switzerland records the third lowest capture fisheries production (1,485.93 metric tonnes), and a percentage increase in fishery production of 0.22%. This makes it the second-best country in the ranking for fishery practice.

Austria

With the lowest capture fishery production of only 350 metric tonnes among all the analysed countries and experiencing a mere 0.095% increase in seafood production between 1960 and 2020, Austria ranks as the third-best country in terms of its fishery.

The least sustainable countries for fishery

China

Registering the highest capture fisheries production out of all the other countries in the study at 13,445,983 metric tonnes, and the highest aquaculture production at 70,483,540 metric tonnes, China leads in terms of volume. However, this level of production raises questions about the sustainability of fishery practices in China.

In terms of seafood production, China has recorded a staggering 20.9% increase over the past 60 years, a factor that contributes to making it the least sustainable country in terms of fisheries practices

India & Indonesia

India and Indonesia are the second and third countries, respectively, with the most endangered fisheries.

Indonesia and India rank as the second and third countries in aquaculture production with 14,845,014 and 8,641,286 metric tonnes respectively, and for capture fisheries production with 6,989,382 and 5,522,714 metric tonnes respectively.

Both Asian countries have registered a considerable percentage increase in seafood production between 1961 and 2020, amounting to 12.7% for India and 13.8% for Indonesia.

Agriculture and use of nitrogen fertiliser: the effects on climate change

Agriculture and use of nitrogen fertiliser: the effects on climate change

The misuse of nitrogen fertilisers in agriculture contributes significantly to aggravate climate change. These fertilisers emit nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, which exacerbates global warming.

To combat these effects, sustainable practices such as precision farming, slow-release fertilisers, and organic methods are essential.

Boiler Cover UK conducted an analysis exploring several factors, such as nitrogen usage and the frequency of natural disasters like droughts and floods across 51 countries, to identify which countries have the highest and lowest contributions to climate change.

Top 10 countries with the best agricultural practice

Moldova

According to the results, Moldova ranks as the best country for its agricultural practices. It records the second-smallest use of nitrogen fertiliser, after Bolivia, at 27.56 kg per hectare, and the third-lowest CO2 emissions at 5,422,021 metric tonnes. This Eastern European country takes pride in its respect for the land. The absence of floods and droughts in 2022 is noteworthy, but it should be noted that good agricultural practices alone may not directly indicate an absence of climate change impacts in the country.

Cyprus

Ranking fifth for the lowest CO2 emissions, with 7,029,358 kilotonnes, a factor partly attributed to its small size, Cyprus is positioned as the second-best country in the ranking for agriculture and tenth for fertiliser use, at 61.22 kg per hectare. This follows Estonia and Colombia, which use 59.35 and 60.64 kg per hectare, respectively.

Latvia

Latvia ranks as the fourth country with the lowest CO2 emissions (6,591,454 kt annually). With a fertiliser use of 62.8 kg per hectare, following New Zealand and Italy (62.56 and 62.04 kg per hectare), Latvia ranks overall as the third-best country for its agriculture.

Top 10 countries with the worst agricultural practices

China

Displaying one of the highest nitrogen fertiliser usages in the ranking, at 190.85 kg per hectare, the country follows Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, which have usage rates of 196.99, 198.98, 205.57, and 205.73 kg per hectare respectively.

India

India's nitrogen usage is 120.97 kilograms per hectare, and it has the third-highest CO2 emissions at 2,830,000,000 kilotonnes, following China and the United States. This places India as the second-worst country in the rankings for its agricultural practices.

Brazil

Despite having an average nitrogen fertiliser usage of 93.06 kg/ha, Brazil ranks as the third-worst country for agricultural practices due to its high CO2 emissions of 483,000,000 kt.

Top 10 countries using the most amount of fertiliser

We also examined fertiliser usage (kg per hectare) to determine which countries prioritise land conservation. The results indicate that among the countries analysed, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Ireland use the least amount of fertiliser, with 205.73, 205.57, and 198.98 kg per hectare, respectively.

Top 10 countries using the least amount of fertiliser

In terms of the least amount of fertiliser used, Bolivia leads the ranking with an annual usage of just 4.72 kg per hectare, followed by Moldova (27.56 kg per hectare) and Argentina (41.55 kg per hectare).

In conclusion, the 2024 Climate Study by Boiler Cover UK reveals significant disparities in how different countries contribute to climate change. While some nations exhibit responsible practices, such as lower CO2 emissions, sustainable forestry, fisheries, and agriculture, others face challenges and have a more negative impact.
The study emphasises the critical importance of sustainable practices and global cooperation to combat climate change.

Sources & Methodology

Sources

To complete this research, we used the most up-to-date data available on the internet 

CO2 Emissions (2022) https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-greenhouse-gas-emissions

Fertiliser Use per Country (2020) : https://ourworldindata.org/crop-yields

Fishing Industry Data (2020) https://ourworldindata.org/fish-and-overfishing

Forestry Data (2020) https://ourworldindata.org/forest-area

Deforestation Data (2020) https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/deforestation-rates-by-country

Disasters (2022) https://climatedata.imf.org/

Methodology

We initially compiled a list of countries, including OECD countries, EU member states, and international nations. Next, we gathered data for each country pertaining to each industry and indexed every metric, assigning positive and negative values to each data point. To accomplish this, we utilized the RANK.EQ formula in Excel. After indexing all individual metrics, we consolidated them to create a final index for each industry.

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Mark McShane
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Mark McShane is not just an expert in solar and heating sectors but a passionate mentor and a go-to guy for everything related to solar and heating technologies. He's the proud owner of Skills Training Group, where he has been sharing his extensive knowledge and shaping professionals to meet the industry's ever-growing demands. Mark has spent years in the field, embracing the latest trends and mastering the cutting-edge technologies in solar and heating. He’s not just about textbooks and theories; he understands the practical aspects, the challenges, and the innovations that are shaping the solar industry. His passion for gas boilers and solar energy is contagious, and he has helped countless individuals, be it fresh faces eager to learn the ropes or seasoned professionals wanting to up their game, to thrive in the dynamic world of solar energy. His approach is friendly, insightful, and incredibly enriching, making him the perfect guide for anyone looking to enhance their skills and make a mark in the solar industry. Whether you’re just starting out in the world of boilers and solar energy or have been around and seen it evolve, reaching out to Mark can open new doors of knowledge and skills for you, enabling you to be a part of the green energy revolution.
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