Article originally published in The Global African Worker.
Taken from the first part.
The rich countries have to take a step forward
The causal link between climate change and extreme weather conditions, is evident. The need for an ambitious climate action, both on the part of rich countries, the poor is beyond all doubt. This means that the planning of a sustainable response to the crisis to come, to increase the resilience to climate change through adaptation, and to reduce drastically the emissions of greenhouse gases.
And here comes the interesting debate about who should be responsible for it. The Rio de Janeiro Summit of 1992, the first climate agreement, saying that the rich countries should be the ones who do.
All the parties should protect the climate, for the benefit of present and future generations, following the principle of the equity and in accordance with common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. So, the richest countries liderarían the fight against climate change and its affected negative.
Climate agreement signed in Paris in December 2015, again to confirm this: while all the countries have the obligation to act, the First World primarily responsible for to reduce global emissions and the costs of climate disasters. Unfortunately, the agreement itself, which is based entirely on the clauses, voluntary Contributions established at the national level (NDCs, for its acronym in English), does not collect any mechanism that are required to do so. According to some analyses of civil society, the NDCs of the western countries fall significantly less than a fair share of climate action.
The need for an ambitious climate action, both on the part of rich countries, the poor is beyond all doubt. This means that the planning of a sustainable response to the crisis to come, to increase the resilience to climate change through adaptation, and to reduce drastically the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Despite this, Donald Trump, insisted on the fact that the terms of the Paris Agreement was “unfair” for the united States. Even if the Administration Trump has confirmed the departure of the US from the agreement, which will be effective in the November 2020the Democratic Party has taken a position against this. And the current situation, which has forced the postponement of the COP26, only leads to greater uncertainty.
Both their per-capita emissions, current and historical, the united States saves a great responsibility before the weather emergency. Since the first use of fossil fuels in 1750 until 2017, this country issued 399 billion tons of carbon dioxidealmost double the € 200 billion issued by China. Germany, the United Kingdom and India have contributed 91, 77, and 49 billion euro, respectively, while Africa has contributed to 43 billion euros. In our World of Data, a project of the Global Change Laboratory Data, has provided some of the graphics very useful.
In terms of carbon dioxide emitted per capita, and only with the exception of the countries of the Persian Gulf, such as Saudi Arabia or Qatar, the united States has led the world ranking in 2017, with 16,24 tons per person year-on-year. Follows Japan with a 9.45; south Africa with 8,05; and China, with 6,98. At the other extreme, most african countries, except for those that produce oil, contribute less than half a ton per capita.
It is under the label of “Green New Deal” or not, an advance in the united States by reducing the use of fossil fuels and accelerate the transition to renewable energy would be an important impact at the global level. For activism america, the greatest imperative is to change the politics of their country. And, in turn, put all their efforts into a global context and recognize the initiatives of the activists all over the world.
Continues in the third part.
Translation of Raúl Sánchez Saura.