The Climate Debt: What the West Owes the Rest

Attention is rightly focused on creating vaccines and measures to halt the spread of COVID-19. There also remains an imperative to mitigate the effects of climate change not just because of the clear links between COVID-19’s impact on humans where air pollution is high. Mohamed Adow identifies challenges in building a consensus to tackle the problem on a global scale. The industrial revolution hugely improved living conditions but at the cost of global warming and inequitable consequences for LDC’s. The moral case to support weaker nations is because the industrial revolution was made possible in part by exploitation of LDC’s mineral and other resources, yet they now suffer the greater consequences of climate change for which they are ill equipped to respond to. Sure, we need to fix short term problems, but this pandemic will not be over until it is over everywhere. Business for example faces immense dislocation to global supply chains. The policy options are clear: the carbon externality has to be effectively priced in wealthy nations and meaningful support needs to be directed to the LDC’s. Both will create opportunities for business.

Foreign Affairs:
The Climate Debt: What the West Owes the Rest »