This piece of news in the New York Times pretty much confirms what developing countries have been saying for years:
In almost every instance, the people most at risk from climate change live in countries that have contributed the least to the atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to the recent warming of the planet.
Those most vulnerable countries also tend to be the poorest. And the countries that face the least harm — and that are best equipped to deal with the harm they do face — tend to be the richest.
And despite that, it is constantly claimed by many right-wingers that action against global warming is only designed to hurt developing countries from getting richer. Rubbish.
Not only does that assume development can only come via burning vast amounts of fossil fuels rather than sustainable growth, but that they won’t be badly affected by global warming.
The United States, where agriculture represents just 4 percent of the economy, can endure a climatic setback far more easily than a country like Malawi, where 90 percent of the population lives in rural areas and about 40 percent of the economy is driven by rain-fed agriculture.
Those massive changes in temperatures and the growing instability of weather will hurt poorer people in developing countries more than it will here. The UK can afford to spend billions ‘climate proofing‘ – countries like India and Malawi can’t. That is why they need action to tackle global warming.
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Filed in: Environmentalism