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Global Warming Was Not Created by Developing Countries

I only wonder how any self respecting delegate from a rich country in Copenhagen can reasonably propose to the developing countries that they should share in solving the problem of global warming. Because what applies to Bangladesh as number 144 on the emissions list, applies as well to the Third World leaders India (113), Brazil (91) and China (80). They just haven’t created this problem.

One could argue that this will change as, for instance, China continues its current path of economic development. China is building two coal power plants a week and if that trends continues China will quickly rise on the list. Still it will take a long time before China surpasses the United States. But more importantly: there are clear signs that China is aware of the future problem it is creating if it continues with fossil fuels based power generation. China recently announced that it would cut emissions of carbon relative to economic growth by 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020 compared with 2005 levels.

If the rich countries change the conversation from “How can we discuss CO2 emissions with you?” to “How can we make clean technology more successful sooner?”, developing countries like China would quickly join the trend as they have a strong competitive position when it comes to the introduction of new technology.

The talks in Copenhagen should be about the opportunities that global warming present for economic development and the creation of jobs, not about how we can prevent losing vested interests. New clean energy technology enables power generation at a small scale, widely distributed way without the same need of big powerful multinational corporations that the current power supply requires.

That change is to the advantage of the developing world too. It would be only right if Bangladesh, after centuries of colonialism and an unfair fossil fuel competition, could participate in the world economy in a way that all Bangladeshi, as fellow citizens of planet Earth, truly deserve.

Jurriaan Kamp is Editor-in-Chief of Ode Magazine. A free copy of Odes special Copenhagen issue is available here.

Global Warming is a big topic, the Climate Change Conference is a big event, and there are many points of view on both: Be sure to check out Care2s daily coverage of the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference which is taking place now at Bella Center in Copenhagen.

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Jurriaan Kamp

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110 comments

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4:12PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Industrialization, capitalism, consumerism, excessive packaging, a throw away mentality- and more are merits of living in a privileged society. And who really pays the price? Less fortunate countries and future generations the wolrd over.

We need to examine the word: conscencious- what does this mean in a broad sense?

1:21AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

Thanks

9:13PM PDT on Mar 16, 2010

It seems to be that, if we had minds like you during that fateful conference, then Copenhagen would not have been the disappointment that it was.

Thank you for sharing your insightful thoughts, nonetheless.

1:51PM PST on Jan 28, 2010

China has a lot to answer for, remember.

12:11PM PST on Jan 24, 2010

Thanks for the info.

11:19AM PST on Jan 20, 2010

And they pay the highest price for what more developed nations have done

3:02AM PST on Jan 20, 2010

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3:02AM PST on Jan 20, 2010

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3:02AM PST on Jan 20, 2010

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3:02AM PST on Jan 20, 2010

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