"The talks come amid some of the hottest global average temperatures ever on record.”
The world is in trouble. That much everyone understands. This is no longer an issue that is being disputed by people, except when it comes to who takes responsibility. The head of the US delegation at UN climate talks in Lima, Perú, has warned of a “major breakdown” in the process if negotiators fail to come to an agreement. The major issue, it seems, is the contention that all nations, including developing nations, should be responsible for cutting down on carbon.
The big emitters, like the US and the EU, feel that in order for for the pledges to have enough of an effect on the world’s ecosystem, we need to see bigger commitments from all nations. Until right now, the world has been working under the 1992 climate convention treaty which placed the carbon cutting burdens on the developed nations, while placing no obligations on the poorer nations. The developed nations argue that this treaty is no longer a valid starting point since more than the 50% of the world’s emissions come from emerging economies.
So is it all the developing countries that oppose the revised drafts? According to one of the delegates, it is “the like-minded group who are holding it up,” (a reference to the Like-Minded Developing Countries which includes Venezuela, China, India, and Saudi Arabia). So why is this happening? It, of course, boils down to money.
Developing countries will argue that they do not have the money to be able to handle the burdens of reducing their carbon footprint. But is that really true? Would the burden not really fall on the energy corporations within these nations? If that is true, then the real problem is that these nations do not want to go back and push against the strong lobbyists within their nations. How can we aid our planet, though, if we do not all accept that we have a responsibility to do something about it?