Conflict of interests: rich countries and poor countries

An American protester during a march on climate change in Denver, Colorado. (Jason Connolly / AFP)

Limiting CO2 emissions means reducing the benefits of the economy and not all countries are willing to accept it 

Despite the will of politicians and millions of citizens around the world, there has been little progress towards slowing down global warming in recent years. And there is no planet B to replace the Earth if it is ruined.

The problem is that there’s a conflict of interests between countries that do not agree on what measures to take: reducing emissions of polluting gases means reducing production and, consequently, the benefits of the economy.

Rich countries…

Since the age of industrialisation, the richest countries have made their economy grow without taking into account the pollution they cause. Now, aware of what climate change means, many of them are trying to establish stricter development criteria to avoid it.

However, there are also some leaders who directly deny the existence of climate change, like the president of the United States, Donald Trump. «Global warming is a concept invented by the Chinese to damage the production capacity of the United States,» said the US president on more than one occasion.

… versus poor countries…

On the other hand, developing countries do not accept a reduction of their emissions because most of the current pollution has been caused by the richest countries.

Therefore, these countries feel that rich countries are the ones that must change their lifestyle and reduce their emissions. Especially considering that, for some years now, the countries that are still poor live in a way that is increasingly similar to ours: they build factories, travel by car, consume more and produce more waste …

… but the consequences affect everyone

The truth is that, no matter which countries are the cause of pollution, the effects are harmful to everyone.

The problem is that if developing countries do not stop polluting, the harmful effects will also affect them, not only the countries that have polluted so far. That’s why it is important that they are also part of the solution.

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