Let's remember that the people who will be worst affected by climate change are likely to be the ones who have the lowest levels of per capita emissions, and the ones least able to adapt to changing conditions, such as rivers becoming seasonally dry. Photo: Hideyuki Kamon via flickr.
The divide between what the world's wealthy nations are willing to commit to in regards to combatting climate change and what the poorer nations (read: those who will be worst affected) say must be done seems to only be growing. Considering that these demands are much closer to what scientists say must be done than rich nations' proposals, it's prime time to roundup what rich nations are being called upon to do so we have a benchmark:Short Term Emission Reduction Targets Defined by Science
For several months now developing nations have been calling for much stronger emissions reduction targets from the world's rich nations. Some of the loudest voices have come from the island nations of the Pacific, some of which are already getting soaked by rising oceans, but China and India have also repeatedly made calls for stronger climate change commitments.
What these nations are calling for is nothing short of what climate scientists have been calling for: Greenhouse gas emission cuts somewhere between 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
At the G8 talks in Italy last week, the fact that an adequate long term goal was presented (80% reductions by 2050) but no shorter term commitments on the way to that goal were made was seen as a major sticking point.
Financial Assistance For Climate Change Adaptation
Another part of the demand/request (call it what you will) is that the wealthy nations of the world offer up some financial aid for climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Back in April the call was for $200 billion and came from China, India, and South Africa.
That may sound like a big chunk of change, but it's really only about 0.5% of GDP and is similar to what is already pledged in development aid.
The stated use for this money would be used to expand use of renewable energy and other green technologies, but presumably also to help with the inevitable migration of people as well and other climate change adaptation strategies.
Greater, Fairer and Greener Technological Transfer
Though China and India are growing rapidly in terms of manufacturing green technology, in particular wind turbine parts in the case of China, and companies from these nations are becoming truly global in scope and genuine international competitors, in many other developing nations this isn't the case.
Throughout the developing world there is the call for enabling of green technological transfer--importation of the latest technology that will enable developing nations to enjoy economic growth but without necessarily having to follow exactly in the footsteps of the developed world, and leap ahead to more current standards of energy efficiency (for example.
Where this comes from is a sense that without some assistance, there will be a long and dirty road ahead until the developing countries of the world catch up to those already industrialized.
To do this often means changing policy, loosening trade restriction, or loosen (or making exceptions) to patent law. Recently a Brazilian climate change minister said that "a fair agreement on technology transfer is crucial to seal the deal in Copenhagen." Meaning, that without addressing this issue, developing nations are likely to balk.
Global Climate Change
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