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North Should Help South More

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pollution from power plant in Canada

A recent study has concluded what many have been saying for years: countries in the “North” (i.e. the U.S., European countries, Canada, etc.) have had a much stronger effect on global climate change than countries in the “South” (i.e. South American countries, Asian countries, and African countries).

“We found that the industrialised ‘North’ of the globe has so far been mostly responsible for the rise in carbon emissions. Since carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for around 100 years, it is the view of many that it is these nations that should significantly curb their emissions.”

However, it is emerging economies like China and India that are expected to have the greatest impact on the climate in the second half of this century. One way to help address this concern is to transfer key, low-carbon technology solutions more prevalent in the North to countries in the South. And this is seen as a duty of these northern polluters by many, including the study authors.

In addition to providing countries in the South with low-carbon technology solutions, the authors also conclude that industrialized countries should provide these other countries with more funding to adapt to the inevitable, catastrophic consequences of global climate change.

Of course, these are all topics that will be discussed more and more in the coming years, including at the big climate conference in Cancun in a couple of weeks. But there has been a lot of disappointment in the slow movement of industrialized countries (and even leaders of non-industrialized countries) to make the situation more fair.

A lot of lower-incomes peoples and supporters of a just society are taking things into their own hands more and more as a result, planning grassroots caravans to Cancun and alternative global climate change conferences around the world.

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Photo Credit: Fanboy30 via flickr (CC license)

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