Countries experiencing signs of climate change are more at risk of being polluted with poisonous emissions, latest research shows.

American researchers from the University of Notre Dame found a clear link between global climate risk and toxic emissions by examining the dangers of toxic pollution, non-toxic pollution, and its severity to humans.

The team of academics also assessed the relationship between toxic countries and deaths caused by harmful emissions and climate change – and discovered a strong correlation.

The study found that: “Deaths resulting from toxic pollution are highest where the distribution of toxic pollution is greatest and, critically, also where the impacts of climate change pose the greatest risk.”

Senior researcher and Associate Professor of Political Science, Debra Javeline, said: “It is not surprising to find that these risks are highly correlated, but this article provides the data and analysis to inform policy, data and analysis that were previously lacking.”

The scientists examined the ND-gain index of 182 countries to assess the impact of climate change and how it triggers toxic emissions.

Singapore, Rwanda, China, India and the Solomon Islands are the top five nations most at risk of climate change and toxic pollution. Equatorial Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Venezuela and the Central African Republic are the countries least affected.

The researchers said: “Notably, our results find that the top one-third of countries at risk of toxic pollution and climate impacts represent more than two-thirds of the world’s population, highlighting the magnitude of the problem and unequal distribution of environmental risk.

“Given that a large portion of the world’s population lives in countries at higher toxic pollution and climate impacts risk, understanding where and how to target in pollution risk mitigation is critical to maximizing reductions of potential human harm.”

The full research study is now available in the journal PLOS.

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