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Efforts of developed and developing nations in preserving the Environment

Efforts of developed and developing nations in preserving the Environment

Views of Developed Nations

  • Developed nations argue that at present, developing nations are also emitting equivalent amount of carbon emissions.
  • Moreover, emissions of developing nations are expected to increase in future.
  • As on 1st January 2016, China is the largest polluter in the world, United States is the 2nd largest, European Union is the 3rd largest and India is the 4th largest.
  • Thus, developed nations argue that the developing nations should also adopt high emission cuts and these cuts should be legally binding.
  • Developed nations also argue that developing nations should be penalised for high methane emissions due to rice fields and livestock.
  • Rice is a tropical crop and incidentally, most developing nations are tropical nations and most developed nations are temperate nations.
  • Developing nations such as India and China also possess large livestock as compared to that possessed by developed nations.

Views of Developing Nations

The following are the arguments by developing nations such as India for not accepting legally binding emission cuts:

‘Polluter shall pay’ principle:

  • Developing nations argue that developed nations have witnessed industrialisation for nearly two centuries, and hence the concentration of greenhouse gases is due to industrialisation in developed nations.                    Efforts of developed and developing nations in preserving the environment
  • As developed nations are responsible for GHG emissions, they should be made accountable to restore environment.

Reduction based on per capita emissions:

  • India argues that emission reduction commitments should be on per capita basis and not on country basis.
  • India argues that an average Indian citizen produces 1/20th of the greenhouse gas emissions as compared to that of a US citizen.
  • Overall emissions are higher in India due to large population.

Low carbon path is costlier:

  • Low carbon path may involve restriction on industrial activities, investment in alternate technologies such as solar energy which is costlier, etc.
  • Thus, adoption of low carbon path would affect economic growth.              Efforts of developed and developing nations in preserving the environment
  • Nations like India cannot afford to reduce economic growth, because economic growth is a mean to reduce high levels of poverty.

Differentiation luxury needs of North and necessity needs of South:

  • Developing nations argue that carbon emissions in developed nations are mainly due to luxury needs, whereas carbon emissions in developing nations are mainly due to necessity needs.
  • Thus, any effort to reduce GHG emissions should be focussed on curtailing luxury needs and not necessity needs.

Due to the differences among developed and developing nations, nations have not been able to arrive at a consensus to adopt mandatory higher carbon emission cuts.


Environment & Biodiversity

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