Suffered from many impacts, such as global warming, climate change, and pollution, etc., the Earth becomes weaker and weaker, which will be no longer to be able to support the living and non-living things any more. Especially climate change, it continues endlessly to damage the regular circulation of nature, such as the season that become uncontrollable and unpredictable now. Because of so, there appears a controversial topic to debate on between the rich and the poor, which one should have a higher obligation to combat climate change? I think developed countries should have a higher obligation to combat climate change than developing countries based on many reasons.
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Primarily, industrial revolution has started since 1860s, so only those developed countries that have grabbed that opportunity first to develop themselves (Tan & Khaw, n.d.). That revolution has allowed them to develop rapidly in terms of economic, technology, culture and so on, so more or less they are the one, which have created more effect for nowadays climate change. Without farther look, the United States, for instance, have developed very fast after winning the war in 1776 from its colonizer-British. In addition, with their long time of industrialization, they also have enriched the technological advancement meaning that they have the ability with their modern technology to combat the climate change more effective than developing countries, which have started to develop just only in this 21st century. In other words, this is a very short duration for developing countries to have the ability to combat, for they just grow up and are vulnerable.
Becoming the industrialized countries before the other developing countries in the world, it also means that they are also rich or wealthy in terms of property or treasury. Again, the United States have the highest GDP per capita $ 14.66 trillion comparing with the other countries around the world (CIA, 2011). The United States, therefore, accompanied with the other developed countries-such as France, Great Britain, Canada and Japan, etc., are able to spend for this combatting. Notably, there are many developed countries on this planet, so they can work cooperatively with each other to deal with this problem. And there also has a platform already in the international stage-such as the Kyoto protocol conference of the Unite Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1997 based on United Nations, which allows them the work space to focus on environment, specifically climate change. I strongly believe that they will be able to deal with this problem, for they are not only wealthy in terms of property but also technological advancement.
Next, they are the most powerful in the international stage. For example, just a few main counties-such as the US, France and Great Britain, are able to take action or intervene almost countries’ wars in the Middle East-Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, for instance. They, therefore, will be able to take action in combatting the climate change as well, for their voice is very effective to gather the other countries to work on that task. Conversely, if the developing countries call for combatting the climate change, there will have even no one to join hand since they are developing and weak, and they have no more money and have no special modern technology.
Moreover, this task of combatting climate change strongly need participation from the strong governments, and those governments are particularly developed countries including U.S., France, Great Britain and other industrialized countries. The reason why developed countries should have a higher obligation to combat the climate change was mainly the policy of those governments. Because policy in those developed countries are stronger than any other developing countries, they work more effective and could boost the motivation of combating climate change in both their states and other developing states. For example, United States had introduced Energy Independence policy in the aim of reducing the U.S. import of any source energy (OECD, 2008). This policy could take account into the reduction of CO emissions, which likely avoid the impact on climate; however, this policy could only be done by rich countries (developed countries) due to the high subsidy of contributing to this policy. On the other hand, if those developed countries do not do so, it will be a huge impact on environment as well as climate change. In fact, there is an expectation of investment in energy infrastructure about 20 trillion US dollars around the world which mostly are invested by developed countries (United Nations, 2012). Then there will have long-term impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, which likely effect on climate change, in the next 20 years. As a result, strong policies as well as developed countries have a higher significant role in motivating and combating the climate change than developing countries.
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Beside the above-mentioned points, such as industrial revolution, property, the influence in the international stage and the internal policy of those developed countries, which those rich nations have higher points compared to the developing nations, there is also wide gap between them. In India in 2008, for example, according to World Bank more than 456 million people were living under the poverty line, so it seems so ridiculous to push one who could not even help it own people who have not had a better living condition to contribute to fighting the climate change, which is generally considered as the root of the developed nations who have both wealth and resources to do this problem easily. It is unfair while the advantages call for the disadvantages to solve the same issues.
To sum up, developed nations who have many potential factors such as the advancements of the technology resulting from the early industrial revolution, plenty of resources, their influence in the world politics, good management in those nations, and the leading in living standard of their people should pay high contributions to fight against the climate change because they are the ones who cause most of the pollution and gain many benefits from their actions. It is obvious that the causers of the problem should be the solvers of those by themselves. However, it would be much better if both developed and developing countries cooperate with each other to deal with the climate change, for there is one reason which it should be taken into account “we are in the same planet, so we need to help each other to root out the common problem.”
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