Ideas to Action:

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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

$57 Trillion Additional Climate Debt Calls for Policy Action by G20

While a drastic reduction in carbon emissions is necessary to contain climate change, countries still have not reached a consensus on a fair division of responsibilities in reducing them. While advanced economies were the biggest emitters in the past, emerging economies, such as China and India, account for an increasing share of new emissions. From the standpoint of fiscal policy, these carbon emissions, which adversely affect the world’s well-being, are a negative externality. At present, countries do not bear the full cost of these externalities. The cumulative sum of these liabilities can be viewed as a “climate debt” a country owes to the global community.

An image of a coal power plant in South Africa

Three Ways to Ensure COP-26 Delivers for Poor People

Three ways that COP-26 could deliver for those countries are to properly define what counts as “new and additional” climate finance, make sure carbon markets rather than aid pays for the additional costs of mitigation in poorer developing countries, and agree to exempt the poorest countries from carbon tariffs.

An image of a plant growing with a city skyline in the background.

Don’t Trade Off Climate Mitigation and Development

Future generations are (currently) blameless, our actions leave them in peril, but we can do something about it. All of this is utterly true of climate change, and it is why rich countries (that disproportionately pollute) should take the lead in paying for climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

Midwife Beatrice works as part of Health Development Initiative (HDI). HDI was founded by Rwandan physicians with the goal of empowering individuals and communities to improve health and advance development.

Resilience in Developing Nations

There are two ways to look at progress in the developing world context. I think the right way to look at it is that there has been tremendous success. The downside is that, as we see with the threat of COVID as well as the risk of more natural disasters because of climate change, that they and the economies in which they live and work, are vulnerable - lacking resilience, obviously, especially now.

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