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See How Much Climate Change Has Cost Different Countries

The top five greenhouse gas–emitting nations—the U.S., China, Russia, Brazil and India—collectively caused $6 trillion in global economic losses between 1990 and 2014, according to a recent study of available data. And those losses haven’t been felt equally. Dartmouth College climate scientists Christopher W. Callahan and Justin S. Mankin used climate models to determine how much of the planet’s warming could be attributed to each country’s emissions and calculated what those emissions have cost every other country. The scientists linked global average temperature rise to the warming in each nation (because some parts of the world are warming faster than others) and then to the associated change in that country’s gross domestic product. “A striking feature of the results was the compounding inequalities,” Callahan says. Whereas wealthier countries burned more fossil fuels to drive economic growth, low-income countries—which are already less able to adapt to a changing climate—bore the brunt of the losses.

Chart shows per capita GDP change in the 10 countries with the largest losses linked to the top emitters from 1960 to 2014.
Credit: Amanda Montañez; Source: “National Attribution of Historical Climate Damages,” by Christopher W. Callahan and Justin S. Mankin, in Climatic Change, Vol. 172; July 12, 2022
World map shows GDP change by country from U.S. emissions, from 1990 to 2014, with losses dominating the southern hemisphere.
Credit: Amanda Montañez; Source: “National Attribution of Historical Climate Damages,” by Christopher W. Callahan and Justin S. Mankin, in Climatic Change, Vol. 172; July 12, 2022