Delhi: India is among the top countries to face maximum economic loss from climate change, says a new research, estimating the total price that emissions would have to the country’s economy.

The findings which were published in the scientific journal, Nature Climate Change, highlighted that United States, India and Saudi Arabia are the top three counties with the most to lose from climate change, followed by Brazil and world’s largest CO2 emitter - China.

It is for the first time that researchers developed a data set quantifying the country-level contributions to the social cost of carbon (SCC), which is a measure of the economic harm from carbon dioxide emissions for at least 169 countries across the globe.

According to the study, India’s country-level social cost of carbon was estimated to be the highest at $86 per tonne of CO2, which means that Indian economy stands to lose $86 from emitting each additional tonne of CO2. This roughly accounts for nearly 21% of the global social cost of carbon.

While previous research in the field has focused on how rich countries benefit from the fossil fuel economy, while damages are borne primarily by the developing world, the research highlights that the maximum damages would be faced by major powers, including US and China.

India is followed by United States, where the economic damages would be $48 per tonne of CO2 emission and Saudi Arabia at $47 per tonne of CO2, both accounting for 11% of the global social cost of carbon each.

Brazil stands as the fourth country in the list followed by China and the United Arab Emirates. The country-level social cost of carbon for China was found to be $24 per tonne of CO2, as per the study conducted by researchers from University of California, San Diego.

“Carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels affects people and ecosystems around the world, however, these impacts are not included in market prices and consumers of fossil fuel energy are unaware of the true costs of their consumption," said lead author, assistant professor Kate Ricke, from University of California, San Diego.

The research also highlights that several countries have not yet recognized the risk posed by climate change. ‘Russia dominates all the other nations in gains from emissions, whereas India is consistently dominated by all the other large economies with large losses,’ it noted.

“Our analysis demonstrates that the argument that the primary beneficiaries of reductions in carbon dioxide emissions would be other countries is a total myth," said Ricke, adding that the findings show that the threat levels of future warming to be much higher for counties such as the US and India, who are expected to take a leadership role on climate.

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