Is it right for the developed world to impose climate rules on the developing world?

In light of the science on thecauses of global warming being questioned, it is right for the developed world to impose its environmental rules on developing countries like Indonesian, when they have income levels way in excess of Indonesia, emit far more carbon dioxide and consume far more of the world natural resources.

Alan Bruce Davies, on behalf of  CPR-Indonesia


The science of global warming is questioned by a few scientists, as every question in science is questioned – that’s how science works. However, most scientists accept that there is human-induced climate change.

It is not right for the developed world to impose environmental rules – or indeed any other rules other than universally accepted human rights rules – on developing countries. Progress will have to come through negotiation and co-operation. Developed countries got rich through dirty industrial revolutions.  If they want developing countries to take a cleaner path, they will have to contribute much of the money.

You are right that Indonesia’s emissions from burning fossil fuels are low in comparison to North American or European (or indeed Chinese) emissions. However, Indonesian emissions from deforestation and land use change are high. One estimate suggests that, taking these into account, Indonesian emissions are the third highest globally – behind only the US and China (see Indonesia – climate and energy statistics).

The Indonesian government is moving in the right direction on forest protection, having announced a moratorium on new permits for forest and peatland clearance covering 150 million acres. And Indonesian forest protection is being helped by money from Norway. The Norwegian government has promised $1 billion for this. Since Norwegian wealth is largely based on oil and gas, this is an appropriate use of the money.

Stephen Tindale

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