Should promoting economic growth and fighting poverty be more important than reducing greenhouse gases in developing (poorer) nations?

Asked by: wbirchall
  • Economic growth leads to a prosperous future

    Whilst the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by developing countries has overtaken that of developed countries[1] , the needs of people in developing countries should absolutely be addressed first and foremost.

    In the country of Brazil -- which has extensively reached out to sustain its rich diversity -- its large rain forests are desperately absorbing enormous amounts of carbon dioxide in the air. 94% of cars in Brazil run on flex fuel (a blend of bio ethanol from sugar cane and petrol)[2], and schemes like these have been going in Brazil since the mid-1970s.

    However, what good on earth has this done to Brazil? Sure, Brazil certainly looks cleaner and greener. Brazil is also currently hosting the FIFA World Cup and has been chosen to host the Olympics in 2016. However, climate change is not a national matter. It is a global matter, which should definitely not be handled by Brazil alone. Additionally, Brazil has one of the worst Gini coefficients (how equally incomes are distributed) in the world, of 0.61[3], and this has shown that there has not been enough government spending in Brazil on employment. While Brazil has the 7th highest GDP in the world[4] , it has between the 74th and 82nd highest GDP per capita in the world[5].

    Industrialised countries today have developed their economies during 19th/early 20th Century and are now the major contributors to climate change. At this time, there was little understanding of the impact of greenhouse gases. The UK did not have the constraints of considering greenhouse gases. Thus, developed countries are responsible for finding a solution for developing nations in order to grow economically with few environmental impacts.

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  • Poverty is the worse thing imaginable.

    I think that it would be very selfish to pontificate upon how other nations should achieve prosperity while western countries have polluted the world for centuries. Control over pollution in important, and in my opinion is as important as economic growth, but growth and fighting poverty are not the same thing. Fighting poverty is the main priority in my opinion

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