Aid to developing countries should be tied to green development
The state of the world's environment is a serious, international problem that is everybody responsibilty to combat. Is it a good idea to incentivise the poorest nations to reduce their carbon footprint?
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The Environment is more important than development
Environmental disasters do not discriminate, they strike the US, they strike Bangladesh, they strike at random. However, it is usually the poorer countries who are the worst affected when flooding and other disasters come to them because they do not always have the emergency funds or infastructure to cope. Therefore, there is no point in a country trying to develop when global warming is increasing the risk of their economies toppling right down again.
This premise assumes that any environmental disaster is a roll of the dice and a random strike on earth, different areas are more and less prone to environmental disasters, should they have higher green development goals just because its in there interest, in which case why do we need to threaten to cut aid to countries to protect themselves.
Also it is stupid to suggest that the only reason that environmental disasters happen is because the local population has been environmentally friendly, in Egypt flooding happens annually, volcanoes and earthquakes are in no way linked to greenhouse gasses or deforestation. On top of that, it is in no way ethical to cut aid to a country that has suffered an environmental disaster because they weren’t "green" enough, the environment is important but people take priority.
Unless incentives exist, nothing will happen
The richest countries can afford to experiment with setting up wind turbines and investigating solar energy, when a nation is developing its main priority is saving money, hence a greater reliance on fossil fuels or else deforestation. By incentivising with money, it suddenly becomes affordable to explore greener options.
So in essence what you’re doing is taking its aid money that should be spend on food and education for the population and forcing them to spend it on "green" forms of energy, most of which will come from more developed countries. This is highly unethical and grossly unfair that countries who are struggling to feed their populous should be instead paying for more efficient power plants when the problem of global warming lies with the richer countries.
I support what Jonathan Fryer refers to as Benevolent Conditionality. The provider of funds sets conditions that ensure that money will only be forthcoming if the recipients do positive things, such as promoting sexual equality and reducing pollution.
I think priorities have to be pollution and animal welfare (as most transport and traction is animal-based in many countries) and women should be expected to make up half the workforce whatever the job being done.
Emissions are seriously damaging the ecosystem.
It is now almost universally acknowledged among the scientific community that emissions are seriously damaging the ecosystem. The most serious threat is climate change. The effects of global warming on the current ecosystem include an increase in desertification, rising sea levels as well as the 'El Niño' phenomenon occurring more often. This is in addition to other effects such as acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer.
Environmental pressure groups seriously overplay the evidence for climate change. Even if climate change is occurring it is not necessarily due to pollution but may be due to natural variations, which the fossil record indicates have occurred in the past.
Industrialisation of now developed countries.
Virtually everything that was mentioned in previous point was caused by the industrialisation of now developed countries. If developing countries, which have about five times as much population as the developed world, were to industrialise unchecked the effect could well be catastrophic. For example, sea level rises would flood millions of homes in low-lying areas such as Bangladesh. Increased crop failure would kill many more. But whereas developed countries would have a chance of protecting themselves from such effects developing countries would be the worst hit. The developing world has, so far, not acted itself to prevent environmental disaster and so the developed world must act in order to save literally billions of lives.
The policy proposed by the proposition is just a new form of imperialism. Developing countries have the right to develop economically and industrially just as developed countries have done. Industrialisation will lead to an improvement in living standards for billions of people throughout the globe. In addition, industrialisation will lead to economic stability for the world's poorest countries. This in turn will lead to increased democratisation in these countries.
Even if the claims made by environmentalists are exaggerated
Even if the claims made by environmentalists are exaggerated and the evidence is indeed much more balanced then surely the possible harm is still great enough to necessitate action. The potential benefit from action of saving the planet's ecosystem far outweighs any downside. (Of course, the proposition is not conceding that the claims are exaggerated, merely that it does not matter even if they are.)
This proposal has serious consequences for world stability. First, it is inconceivable that developed countries would actually enforce such a program on China. Partly because it is such an important trading partner and partly because of the need to avoid Chinese belligerence for the sake of regional stability. However, this immediately undermines the entire scheme since China is the world's fastest growing polluter. Secondly, enforcing this scheme will cause a lot of resentment in developing countries. This would be exacerbated in countries which then failed to meet the emission standards. This could cause economic collapse in such countries and the subsequent rise of dictatorships and the alignment of such rogue nations together. Not only would such alliances cause serious threats to world stability but in the rush for these countries to develop they would pollute even more than they do now because the developed countries would have lost any influence they have at the moment.
It is up to state how it chooses to use its resources
How dare the hypocritical Western nations come and tell other countries what they should be doing to offset the US/European carbon emission? The developing countries know what is best for their people, and they shouldn't be forced into diverting money into green projects when their people are dying of AIDs and there isn't adequate healthcare. Only when a country is 'developed' should it have a financial obligation towards greener fuels and energy.
If resources given to or created by developing coutries are not renewable then surely they will face the same problems the more econically developed countries face now. Yet when these developing counties fall into crisis over unrenewable resources, as all countries will eventually based on their actions now, they will not have the financial capacity to deal with these problems or to develop 'green' resources. So, by introducing green development now, it will actually help and save money for the developing countries in the future.
You are punishing the innocent
Less developed countries are dependant on aid for the survival and improvement in the standard of life of the poorer sections of their populations, however those who make the power stations and cut down forests are the richer population or outside investors who do not rely on aid. So you are letting poor people suffer reduced levels of healthcare and education (either through a loss of aid or a redirection of aid to invest in environmental projects) because those who are not dependant on aid decide to keep developing using means that are not environmentally friendly.
What do you think?