China, India to Rich Nations: $200 Billion to Fight Climate Change, Please

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Photo via Windows to the Universe

China, India, and South Africa have an interesting proposal to the industrialized world: give them $200 billion a year, and they'll use it to fight climate change. As Bloomberg points out, that's around 0.5% of all of the rich nations' entire economic output. But that's not all that the three countries are asking for . . .According to Bloomberg,

Developed countries should pay at least 0.5 percent of their economic output to help less wealthy nations build wind turbines, solar plants and use other clean technologies, China and India said.

Alright, sounds fair enough. Anything else?

Yup. Perhaps to sweeten the deal, the developing giants also demanded that industrialized nations reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2020—which is more than twice most countries' targeted reductions. They say that such cuts would make room for the developing countries to "modernize their economies," though such a target is pretty steep even by the most aggressive carbon cutting countries' standards.

But is it unreasonable? China, India, and South Africa note that 0.5% is how much rich countries are already giving in aid to developing countries. And the whole reason the US didn't sign the Kyoto Protocol was ostensibly because it didn't include targets for countries like China and India. How best to engage developing nations' emissions has long been among the thorniest issues in climate debates.

So what do you think, should rich nations like the US, Canada, and EU countries (who've already said they plan on helping, but not yet to what extent) help shoulder the climate costs for developing ones?

More on Developing Countries and Climate Change
Poor Nations Warn Against 'Protectionist' Carbon Tariffs at Bonn Climate Talks
The Importance Of Climate Change Adaptation

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