One new data analysis globals showed that countries with lower income, where Brazil is included, are more likely to be affected by climate change and toxic pollution. In the study, a list of countries with greater and lesser capacity to take direct action towards the harm reduction resulting from pollution.

This is one of the rare studies that explore the relationship between country income, pollution and climate change. To establish these relationships, the researchers analyzed three sets of public data that are frequently used: the Global Adaptation Index (ND-Gain), the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), and the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP).

Map shows countries' vulnerability to pollution
Brazil has medium to high vulnerability to the effects of climate change and pollution. Credit: University Notre Dame

They found a strong relationship between the spatial distribution of the global climate risk and toxic pollution. The countries most vulnerable to climate change were, for the most part, those that faced the greatest risks of toxic pollution. The authors also noted that demographic, ecological, and social factors are connected and demonstrate inequality patterns.

Other factors that have led these countries to be more affected by pollution and climate change have a more political aspect, such as a relatively low capacity to build environmental and enforcement policies. In Brazil, for example, only 13 fines applied by Ibama in 2019 they were paid by whoever received them, an average of only one per month.

some holes

Although quite complete, the study does not capture all forms of harm or potential risk from toxic pollution and climate change. The authors also note that addressing these impacts may require more detailed assessment within countries as some of the indicators used as a baseline may vary widely.

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However, immediate findings point to the need for a joint approach to the effects of pollution and climate change globally. At the same time, the study's conclusions point to the need to formulate international policies to reduce the risks arising from both toxic pollution and global warming.

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