In this post, we will see the top 5 most polluting industries in the world. This might come as a surprise but there isn’t a specific way to classify the different industries when it comes to pollution. Of course, we look at the different ways that can lead to pollution like vehicles, factories, and so on. But often it turns out that all the industries are connected. Their deadly consequences are suffered by many countries in the world.
Here, we will not speak only about the direct ways of pollution but also the indirect such as transport, livestock, dyeing, and others. It’s very difficult to say exactly how much each industry is polluting the world. This is why we’ll start from the beginning and try to understand which industries are at more fault when it comes to pollution.
Electricity & Heat
Producing energy and heat is evidently one of the biggest air pollutants. Only of the USA in 2018, it was responsible for 28% of the country’s greenhouse gases. Although, many countries are trying to change the way electricity is produced still it comes mainly from burning fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) electricity was responsible for 31% of the greenhouse emissions in 2019. Oil, gas, coal mining and landfills together produce more than half of US methane emissions. When it comes to the European Union 80% of its greenhouse gas emissions are because of electricity and heat.
Transport can be classified into road and non-road (air, rail, sea), and in the USA alone, it’s responsible for around 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions. This doesn’t take into consideration the greenhouse emissions produced in the making. When it comes to Europe, this is the top pollutant responsible for the most greenhouse emissions. Some key pollutants as NO (nitric oxide) have decreased significantly but the number of transported passengers and freight volume has increased and stayed constant. It’s estimated that transport is responsible for about 30% of the greenhouse emissions in Europe and about 50% for countries in OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).
When it comes to agriculture, the European Environmental Agency measures a serious decline in air pollution from 1990 to 2016 after some serious measures. But still notices the usage of some dangerous chemicals such as ammonia and methane. Around 95% of ammonia emissions are because of agriculture. Nevertheless, in 2016 the European countries agreed on new targets when it comes to such dangerous chemicals including ammonia which should be fulfilled until 2030. When it comes to the USA, according to the EPA, agriculture is responsible for about 10% of the greenhouse emissions.
Industries & Factories
This might be a surprise but the industries & factories are not exactly in the 1st place when it comes to air pollution. In the USA, the different industries & factories are accountable for about 22 % of all greenhouse emissions which in reality in 2017 placed them in 3rd position. When we speak about industry & factory produced pollution, we refer to the fossil fuels burned to convert raw materials into some kind of garments or everyday items. This means it includes every industry you can think of such as the fashion industry, car industry or pharmaceutical industry. In Europe, according to the EEA, the emissions from many pollutants in the industries have decreased nevertheless industries & factories are in fact the 2nd biggest pollutant.
Waste (Landfill, Waste Incineration & Open Burning Waste):
The waste industry is also one of the most polluting industries in the world. In Europe, this is the 6th biggest pollutant and in the USA, it is in fact also among the 6 most polluting areas. It also takes into consideration any waste whether it will be textile, food, or plastic one. The problem with waste is that it releases harmful gases. Apart from that, when it is burned it releases methane and other greenhouse gases. The only way to overcome this kind of problem is by recycling.
So, these are some of the most polluting industries in the world. These industries are responsible for most of the pollution we see today in this world. Since all these industries are booming in growth, it is very difficult to avoid the pollutions caused by them. But at least we can try to find some ways to reduce the pollution caused by these industries in the future.
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