The United Arab Emirates, Australia and the United States have the worst overall records for emitting greenhouse gases, according to an index published on Wednesday combining current and historic emissions.
The top of the 183-nation ranking, compiled by British consultancy Maplecroft, was dominated by rich countries and OPEC members. It said it aimed to alert investors to countries vulnerable if U.N.-led climate talks ever agreed wider penalties on carbon.
The ranking of carbon-dioxide emissions from energy use placed the UAE top, largely because of a sharp rise in emissions in recent years linked to desalination plants in an economy almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels.
Australia, dependent on coal, was second ahead of the United States, by far the biggest cumulative emitter since 1900 and now the No. 2 national emitter behind China. Both Australians and Americans have high per capita emissions.
The index gave a 50 percent weighting to current per-capita emissions of greenhouse gases, 25 percent to total national emissions and the remaining 25 percent to cumulative historic emissions.