Developing nations have crucial, but unspecified, post-Kyoto role on climate change

Wed, 2007-06-27 12:11Bill Miller
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Developing nations have crucial, but unspecified, post-Kyoto role on climate change

Developing nations are heavily populated and their CO2 emissions are expected to increase dramatically through development. One international agency estimates that in 2030, China and India together will account for more than 30 percent of the world's carbon production.

But advanced nations have already produced massive volumes of greenhouse gases. Developing nations thus feel they have just as much right to develop as advanced nations, which bear greater responsibility for global warming. The Kyoto Protocol accepted this argument and required only advanced nations to curb emissions

The post-Kyoto UN Framework Convention on Climate Change said developed and developing nations bear “common but differentiated” responsibilities. It is time to define the responsibilities of developing nations, with specific emission-reduction targets and requirements.

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The Obama Administration is pursuing an international climate agreement that would be “politically binding” but would not be a treaty requiring ratification by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate.

Meanwhile, China has announced it will create a national cap-and-trade program.

These two facts amount to a stunning juxtaposition. China, currently the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas pollution, is taking decisive action to lower...

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