The major countries with the biggest per-capita emissions are Australia,
the USA, and Canada. European countries, Japan, and South Africa are
notable runners up. Among European countries, the United Kingdom
is resolutely average. What about China, that naughty “out of control”
country? Yes, the area of China’s rectangle is about the same as the USA’s,
but the fact is that their per-capita emissions are below the world average.
India’s per-capita emissions are less than half the world average. Moreover,
it’s worth bearing in mind that much of the industrial emissions of China
and India are associated with the manufacture of stuff for rich countries.
So, assuming that “something needs to be done” to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions, who has a special responsibility to do something? As I
said, that’s an ethical question. But I ﬁnd it hard to imagine any system
of ethics that denies that the responsibility falls especially on the countries