Friday, December 18, 2009

Viewpoint of the Developing Countries

During my time in Copenhagen, I spoke to many delegates from developing country parties. The viewpoint from them is that the Developed country owes a debt to the developing country. They see any money from Copenhagen is part of a reparation and is not development or aid money. While the developed world is to blame for the situation that we find the globe in from the last 200 years of pollution, future growth in greenhouse gases will originate from the developing world. This issue has been the major fault line causing divisions and stopped major progress from happen in Copenhagen.

This idea has been coined Climate Justice. The problem with this idea of a climate debt and climate justice is that it turns the treaty negotiations into a blame game. Developing countries point the finger at developed countries because of past mistakes. Developed countries point the finger at developing countries for future mistake.

While each point of view is valid, this blame game does not make any progress. Both Obama and Da Silva both have a point from the speeches they gave yesterday. Obama tried to find a middle ground that is politically possible for the US to pass, while Da Silva committed Brazilian resources to help solve the problem. Da Silva's main argument is that his political platform when running for president was that he will work for every Brazilian to have three meals per day. This idea of people not having food security is an alien idea for people in the developed world. Why should developed countries prevent developing countries from bringing people out of poverty?

At the same time, the developing countries have a valid point, and there is a illogical in the arguments presented from developing countries. The developing countries say repeated many times why should they pay for the mistakes of the developed countries. The developed countries made the problem, so they should fix it. However they argue at the same time that they want to continue down the same path as developed countries with fossil fuels and green house gas pollution.
Why should the developing countries make the same mistake as developed? This is where they two groups should find common ground in green tech. Developing countries and Developed countries should both be moving toward a clean green economy. Why use outdated technology to develop when green tech can provide a more secure and environmental solution to development?
Money should be given to sustainable development and technology transfer should be the priority of future agreements. Assigning blame and calling money aid or debts are loaded arguments that will break down any negotiations. The UN is not an international court, and it is not a world government. It is just a forum for the world to solve global problems. Developed or developing countries should not be on trail, for past or future mistakes.

Hillary Clinton provided a great analogy earlier in the year to India on her first visit to the country. Looking at India, they are the biggest market for cell phones in the world. They have very limited landlines development, but a majority of people get access to phone services through the superior technology of cell phones. If they wanted to develop in the same way the countries like the US has for the last two hundred years, India would build telephone lines/poles to rural villages. If they want to have the largest impact they should keep building cell phone towers, which they do. Green tech needs to be developed, and the developing countries should take advantage by developing green and leap frogging fossil fuels a dirty energy.

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