The hypocrisy of rich countries that accelerates global warming — a global problem
  • opinion Written by Jomo Kwame Sundaram (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
  • interpress service

climate change injustice
Although government agencies and other discourses acknowledge and even advocate the need for collective responsibility, the disparity in responsibility between rich and developing countries remains stark.

The narrative of equally sharing the burden of climate action conveniently masks disproportionate emissions and historical exploitation by rich countries.

The European Union’s ambitious new ‘fair’ climate policy. Carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), please continue this hypocrisy. Although ostensibly aimed at reducing emissions, these measures increase the burden on developing countries and deepen global inequality.

Market solution best?
Similarly, carbon taxes, prices, and emissions trading systems make it much harder for resource-poor countries to afford adequate climate action. They have few resources to adapt to global warming and its impacts, much less afford expensive transitions to clean technologies and other mitigation measures.

Furthermore, developed countries are moving energy-intensive industries to the Global South with the aim of “exporting emissions.” They therefore effectively shift blame while consuming most of the goods and services produced at high environmental cost.

As agreed by the UNFCCC, to limit average temperature increases to below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, carbon (dioxide equivalent) emissions must be reduced by 45% above 2010 levels by 2030. need to be reduced to

instead, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Estimate On current trends, average temperatures will rise by 2.7°C by 2100, well above catastrophic levels.

Despite the urgency, countries are primarily focused on achieving “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050, significantly reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. ignoring the urgent needs of

Recent climate conferences have “touted” carbon prices and related market mechanisms as an effective and fair means to rapidly reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change. It has been.

Carbon tax revenue distribution
To make matters worse, there is no discussion about how revenue from carbon taxes should be equitably distributed to accelerate climate adaptation and mitigation efforts in poor countries.

Carbon pricing purports to penalize greenhouse gas emitters for the economic damage and losses caused by global warming. However, there is little evidence of efforts to compensate those most adversely affected.

Moreover, carbon market systems have been woefully inadequate. Emissions have been reduced only slightly, far short of what the world needs to address climate threats.

Not only are they ineffective, but only a small portion of global GHG emissions are subject to carbon taxes, and they are often imposed using biased methods and assumptions.

carbon price discount
Carbon prices have also been heavily discounted to encourage market participation and public acceptance. Therefore, carbon tax rates do not reflect the assumed social costs of adverse externalities.

Worse, carbon taxes have the potential to generate significant revenues for climate finance, yet no progressive redistributive measures have been developed, much less implemented.

Therefore, carbon pricing policies have failed to achieve their mission. It also fails to address the fundamental systemic problems that cause global warming. Carbon taxes are regressive and tend to impose a disproportionate burden on low-income individuals and countries.

Without a progressive reallocation of resources, poor countries and peoples will not be able to afford to adapt to global warming, much less contribute to the needed global climate action efforts or achieve sustainable development. You cannot do this.

government fossil fuel subsidiesThis undermines the purpose of carbon pricing, for example to secure support for Russia after inviting Ukraine. These subsidies led to negative carbon prices in many countries in 2022.

Zero of “net zero”
The carbon offset market, touted as a way to achieve net-zero emissions, has been criticized as an ineffective distraction, allowing the wealthy to continue emitting greenhouse gases while benefiting financial intermediaries. ing.

Although successfully touted as a rallying cry for climate action, net-zero emissions targets are dangerously misleading. Efforts to reach net-zero emissions typically rely on “offsets” that allow countries and companies to avoid reducing emissions.

Despite the recent surge in demand for carbon offsets by large financial investors, much of the profits are going to arbitrage, speculation and trading rather than decarbonization efforts.

Initiatives like Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero It was touted as a significant advance. However, there are many reasons to be skeptical about the effectiveness of such efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Less than six months after the Glasgow Conference of the Parties (COP), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its allies have abandoned their stated commitment to stop burning coal, despite all the additional dangers posed by coal, such as sulfide and sulfate emissions.

Market solution or delusion?
Carbon pricing and offset markets have been promoted as a solution to mitigating global warming, but their limitations and ineffectiveness in significantly reducing emissions highlight the need for alternative strategies.

Selective investment and technology-promoting policies for adaptation and mitigation in developing countries, as well as significant increases in climate finance, are critical.

They can only be successful if they are devised and implemented pragmatically, taking into account the scope of sustainable development and other challenges faced.

Addressing climate change requires a comprehensive, equitable and pragmatic approach that prioritizes deep emissions reductions and supports vulnerable people most affected by global warming.

IPS United Nations Secretariat

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© Inter Press Service (2024) — All rights reservedSource: Interpress Service

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