A paper published in Nature Publishing Group's Scientific Reports in February 2016 has examined the global mismatch between the countries emitting the most greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the countries suffering the burden of negative effects.

The paper shows that 20 of the 36 highest emitting countries are also among the least vulnerable to the negative impacts of future climate change. At the same time, 11 of the 17 with low or moderate GHG emissions are acutely vulnerable to negative impacts of climate change, adding to the case already argued by Pickett et al, Oxfam, Kevin Anderson and others.  

The paper concludes that: 'Member states now need to do much more to hold climate free riders to account. There needs to be a meaningful mobilization of policies, such as the Paris Agreement, that achieve national level emissions reductions, and to ensure the vulnerable forced-rider countries are able to adapt rapidly to climate change.'

Read the full text on the Nature website.