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Background research on climate change and global warming

The developed country Parties...shall adopt national policies and take corresponding measures on the mitigation of climate change, by limiting its anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and protecting and enhancing its greenhouse gas sinks and reservoirs. These policies and measures will demonstrate that developed countries are taking the lead in modifying longer-term trends in anthropogenic emissions consistent with the objective of the Convention, recognizing that the return by the end of the present decade to earlier levels of anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol would contribute to such modification, and taking into account the differences in these Parties' starting points and approaches, economic structures and resource bases, the need to maintain strong and sustainable economic growth, available technologies and other individual circumstances, as well as the need for equitable and appropriate contributions by each of these Parties to the global effort regarding that objective.

Is it proper to place the burden for the reduction of greenhouse gases on the developed nations, considering that some of the worst examples of deforestation and air pollution are occurring in developing nations?

I am looking for guidance on this question as I feel it is somewhat of a two sided question. It is stated that the United States emits is the number one contributor of greenhouse gases throughout the world. And industrialized or developed nations have caused the climate changes which are currently being seen today. As developing nations currently emit far less greenhouse gases than any developed nation. Thus, it should be the responsibility of these nations for reduction. However, some feel that within the next decade developing nations emission of greenhouse gases will far exceed that of any industrialized nation but they are unfortunately exempt from any new commitment within the Kyoto Protocol. Take China for example - they are felt to be the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases due to their robust economy and industrialization. However, they are exempt under the Kyoto Protocol as they are considered a developing nation and these nations were made exempt because increasing their usage or energy was essential to economic development. So this leads one to again ask if it is proper to place the burden for the reduction of greenhouse gases on the developed nations, considering that some of the worst examples of deforestation and air pollution are occurring in developing nations? Fair - I would say no as some areas such as Brazil and China are large contributors but then you have areas such as Africa which are not but still are reaping the effects from the industrialized nations. So I thought I would turn to this site for an opinion as I am somewhat on the fence. As I feel that it in turn should be the responsibility of the developed nations as they have contributed to the climate changes we are experiencing today and they have the means and ability for these changes. Also they should be made to prevent further changes and emissions. However, when should the developing countries be made to step up and change their ways as they after all are contributing and should change or alter their ways or it will be a never ending cycle so to speak.

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Have attached comments in HTML format so the web-refs will be live for your use - interesting topic and good luck with the paper:

OK, We have a couple of competing concepts here.

First, the developed nations by and large are more ABLE to adopt new technologies to curb emissions. That is, their broader technological base would allow them to make new technologies to deal with these issues. Of course, adopting new technologies requires a "re-tooling" of industry. In the long run this means new sectors to the economy which is a good thing one might argue. However, in the short term it means increased capital outlay with little hope of timely returns - a bad thing (economically.) Thus the economic impetus to do it is lacking. Only government regulation will get industry over this hump that pushes against socioeconomic inertia.

This is something the developing nations cannot do as easily. They have a less developed technological base, and much of the emissions (as correctly pointed out) are from direst biomass burning and is not linked to developing new technology for the most part. However, in the instance of China (and one might argue certain other "2nd order nations like Mexico) that the simultaneous use of biomass and fossil fuels in an effort to grow their infrastructure into a more energy consumptive "western-type" model is not doing them, nor the rest of the world, any favors. (Is "more like us" a good thing?)

However, as noted also, the US (and ...

Solution Summary

HTML file has live links. Details differences between developed/developing world with respect to climate change response.