Poor countries want to tackle global warming


by Sunny
14th December, 2009 at 2:47 pm    

The Guardian reports:

Victor Fodeke, head of the Nigerian special climate change unit, said any attempt to remove the Kyoto track would be disastrous for the talks. “Africa is on death row. It has been sidelined by some countries. If there is any attempt to remove one of the tracks of negotiations, then it’s obvious the train will crash.”

“This is of paramount importance. We cannot, we can never accept the killing of the Kyoto protocol. It will mean the killing of Africa,” said another spokesman for the group.

This is worth highlighting because a common excuse of climate denialists is that tackling climate change would condemn poor countries to their economic state and not give them the opportunity to become rich on the back of economic growth. Not surprisingly, this view almost always ignores the views of poor countries themselves who realise the impact climate change will have on their fragile economies. They are always the one pushing for more action not less.


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  1. pickles

    Blog post:: Poor countries want to tackle global warming http://bit.ly/7ZHrnO




  1. Mr Eugenides — on 14th December, 2009 at 6:55 am  

    I think they're pushing for more money rather than anything else. Perhaps we can at least hope that the dictators will spend some of it on hybrids rather than Mercedes, just to set an example.

  2. Matthew Taylor — on 14th December, 2009 at 6:56 am  

    The above would be more convincing if the G77 position wasn't predicated on developed countries cutting emissions, and developing countries, er…not doing so unless its paid for by developed countries.

    In a similar vein, I also want to cut my carbon footprint, and to that end would like someone to buy me a nice new Toyota electric car.

    There is some logic in their position – in that the developed nations go to where they are by emitting throughout the C19 and C20 – but by 2050 (when most of the putative targets are being set) BRIC and other developing nations will be making hugely increased contributions either on a % or actual basis.

    Leaving that aside, this argument that the developing countries deserve a break misses the fact that most of their export related emissions are connected with selling goods to the developed nations. If China isn't obliged to cut, rather than restrict, its emission, changes in behaviour by the US and EU will be just window dressing – clothes, electronics, toys, etc. will all continue to be produced in polluting factories powered by polluting generators in China.

  3. Sunny H — on 14th December, 2009 at 7:11 am  

    The above would be more convincing if the G77 position wasn't predicated on developed countries cutting emissions, and developing countries, er…not doing so unless its paid for by developed countries.

    Sorry, could you remind me again who does most of the polluting and who has to bear the brunt of most of climate change?

  4. Matthew Taylor — on 14th December, 2009 at 8:03 am  

    Who does most of the polluting:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13447-chi

    There are lots more like this, but funnily enough it's one of the bits of climate change science that the developed world left and the developing world seems less keen on cheerleading.

    As for bearing the brunt, do you mean politically? Socially? Or economically? As to the first, a disproportionate number of developing countries remain command or effective command economies: somewhat easier to make changes. Economically – well, BRIC wants to continue emitting, and other states are asking for rich countries to pay for any reductions they make.

    Socially there is certainly going to be a significant impact, but many of these countries already rely on developed country support to ride out natural disasters. Oh, and look – they'd like new kinds of support as well:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/

    Everyone has to cut their emissions. That's “everyone” and “cut”, not “Rich countries have to cut, while poor countries only have to think about restricting future growth”.

  5. cjcjc — on 14th December, 2009 at 8:30 am  

    It will mean the killing of Africa,” said another spokesman for the group.

    No-one admires the ethics of the Nigerian government more than me.

  6. Sunny H — on 14th December, 2009 at 9:25 am  

    No-one admires the ethics of the Nigerian government more than me.

    These days you're into agreeing more with the Saudis right?

  7. Sunny H — on 14th December, 2009 at 9:26 am  

    There are lots more like this, but funnily enough it's one of the bits of climate change science that the developed world left and the developing world seems less keen on cheerleading.

    Actually the scientists and other lefties have long pointed this out.

    But I was firstly talking about per capita. Secondly, China is investing more and will soon pull ahead in green tech than the USA or Europe.

  8. MaidMarian — on 14th December, 2009 at 12:57 pm  

    Sunny – You might want to be a bit careful here. 'Developing countries' often have serious pollution problems. China and India (I accept that they may not be 'developing') in particular are terribly polluted. I once know someone who went to Beijing and it was a week before he realised that there are hills surrounding the city, so thick was the smog.

    There is an argument about the west outsourcing its pollution, but surely a part of developing countries' responsibilities is to introduce controls where heavy industry and the like have western style controls on pollutants, that would likely hold back economies. That is not the west's responsibility and if these countries are really so keen on banging the green drum then they shouldn't need paying to implement such controls. Harsh? Maybe.

    Of course, GM food would probably do more for Africa than anything, but I expect a pasting for raising that prospect…

  9. Matthew Taylor — on 14th December, 2009 at 4:23 pm  

    I'd love to see some examples of the left (and developing nations) pointing out that developing nation emissions are a bigger problem over the life time of “son of Kyoto”.

    As for per capita, that's the death spiral argument: global justice means people in China should get to emit as much CO2 per capita in 2050 as people in the UK did in 2000, 'cos they need to catch up.

    You do presumably accept that current global emissions levels (in toto) are too high and need to be reduced?

  10. Mr Eugenides — on 14th December, 2009 at 6:25 pm  

    I see that Robert Mugabe has a 60-strong delegation at Copenhagen this week. I imagine, Sunny, that you're not going to sit here and argue that Mugabe is concerned about the impact of climate change on ordinary Zimbabweans.

    But – assuming we can agree on that, at least – that leaves the question: what could his motivation possibly be…?

  11. kismethardy — on 15th December, 2009 at 5:07 am  

    We need to give third world criminal rulers the chance to tax the filthy poor pisstakers for wasting water.

  12. Pobeda — on 16th December, 2009 at 5:31 am  

    The International Begging-Bowl Community is squealing that the International Donor Community is not as generous with baksheesh as the International Begging-Bowl Community would like.

    Is this surprising to anyone here?

  13. justice2010 — on 19th December, 2009 at 8:29 am  

    So the climate meeting in Copenhagen has concluded and at the end we have come up with a non binding contract is this deja vu seems similar to the reduce the world debt and look where that is. Wow thanks for nothing so the developed world carry on shipping your toxic waste to the third world and then lecture us on being green hypocritical bastards!

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