Major CO2 –emitting nations vulnerable to ocean acidification

One-Third of Global Population Likely Affected by Damage

A new Oceana study of the vulnerability of individual nations to ocean acidification reveals that six of the ten biggest CO2 polluters are likely to suffer most from the impacts of ocean acidification by 2050.

Japan ranks first in the Oceana analysis of most vulnerable nations, followed by France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Australia. China and the United States, the world’s top-ranked carbon dioxide emitters, ranked 13th and 8th, in relative vulnerability to ocean acidification.

Each nation’s vulnerability to acidification is based on many factors, including its dependence on coral reefs, the size of its fishery, and its fish and shellfish consumption patterns. Nations at high latitudes are especially vulnerable, as acidification will tend to occur sooner in their waters.

More than one-third of the world’s population lives in one of the 25 nations that will be most affected by ocean acidification. Moreover, among the most vulnerable are those with the highest GDP, including the United States, China, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea. These six nations alone were responsible for 51 percent of global CO2 emissions in 2007.

Ranking of 25 Countries Most Vulnerable to Ocean Acidification:

*Includes territories when considering coral reef area as a percent of a country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

Contact: Dianne Saenz ( )
Marta Madina ( )

Peter Browning (, Katharina Mylius (, OCEANA, 2 December 2009. Full press release.

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