Regarding the Nov. 20 front-page article “Climate change deal is reached”:
It is unconscionable to insist developing countries slow development
Barely a day old, the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP27) generated a great deal of conversation on the burning (pun intended) issue of global warming. The conference attendees reached a deal to create a “loss and damage fund” for supporting poorer countries being ravaged by climate disasters. The fund had been agreed on at the 2015 Paris meeting but repeatedly blocked by Congress.
Missing from the deal, however, is any concern regarding developmental challenges faced by less-industrialized countries. According to the late Thomas Schelling, the 2005 Nobel laureate in economics, the best defense for developing countries against climate change is their own development. The real victims of climate change are people in less-developed countries. They spend more time outdoors and don’t have the institutions and resources to combat climate disasters that the richer countries do.
Richer countries have sometimes suggested that poorer countries should slow down their own development for the sake of climate control, for example not developing their oil and gas fields. As suggested by Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission at COP27, “It is important that we stipulate that we need to phase down and ultimately phase out fossil fuels.” According to Schelling, it is unconscionable for advanced countries to insist on developing countries to slow down their development for the sake of controlling climate change.