Explores U.S. position on developing countries in climate protection efforts. Concludes that climate protection requires the initial leadership of a few countries that bear historical responsibility for the problem and have considerable capability to act.
The authors explore the United States’ position on developing countries in climate protection efforts.
- Over the long term, most countries, including developing ones, will need to do more to rein in their greenhouse gas emissions.
- To get the ball rolling in the near term, however, climate protection will require the initial leadership of a few countries that bear historical responsibility for the problem and that have considerable capability to act. Such leadership would create the conditions for a dialogue among all countries on the timing, conditions, and circumstances for more formal involvement of key developing countries.
The U.S. has sought one set of objectives on climate change – developing country commitments – while at the same time financing billions of dollars worth of carbon-intensive investment in those countries.
The U.S. has a critical role to play internationally. In cooperation with other industrialized countries, the United States can usher in a new era of cooperation on climate protection with the following steps:
- Recognize and build on climate-friendly policies already being undertaken in developing countries.
- Foster technical cooperation programs to assist poor countries in adapting to climate change and reducing emissions.
- Promote climate protection in developing countries that is supportive of economic and social development.
- Create an open dialogue on the criteria for more formal developing country involvement.
Finally, the U.S. should attend to curbing its own prodigious output of greenhouse gases.
- This is not only a prerequisite for protecting the global climate, it is a catalyst for other countries to do more.
- It offers U.S. companies an opportunity to gain a competitive edge in new markets for clean technologies.