Developed nations should take lead in emission cuts

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 26, 2012
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The new round of UN climate talks kicked off on Monday in Doha as the landmark Kyoto Protocol is going to see the expiration of its first commitment period, which requires industrialized countries to slash 5.2 percent of carbon emissions from 1990 levels by the end of 2012.

The whole world is watching to see if the Kyoto Protocol can be extended at the Doha talks. If not, it will be a great setback to global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Whether the developed nations can make substantive and sufficient cuts is key to charting the course for future global anti-warming efforts.

"Common but differentiated responsibilities," a principle enunciated at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, is widely accepted as a rational arrangement for countries' obligations on climate change.

In view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, states have broadly similar responsibilities although they differ on a case-by-case basis. Under the UNFCCC's Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in June 1992, developed countries acknowledge the responsibility they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they demand.

The developed world discharged a great amount of greenhouse gases during its industrialization in the previous two centuries. That is the main cause of global warming. That's why they should take most of the responsibility to reduce carbon emissions.

About 80 percent of greenhouse gases were discharged by developed nations since the Industrial Revolution. The total amount discharged and per capita discharge of developing countries is far lower. It is an inescapable obligation for developed nations to take binding emission cut obligations.

Meanwhile, better-developed countries have already overused Earth's atmosphere and resources for emissions, occupying what should be emission quotas for developing countries that are modernizing to meet their citizens' basic needs.

Developing countries are now beginning to industrialize. It is unfair to limit this. Nations that have already undergone this process should transfer environmentally friendly technologies to developing nations and increase their aid to poor nations to bear their historical responsibilities.


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