As the Copenhagen climate conference nears, developing and developed countries are at loggerheads over the question of who should bear the costs of climate change. Developing countries rest their case on equity and ethics: having grown fat on emissions-generating growth, richer countries should use their ill-gotten gains to help poorer countries become greener without sacrificing their economic development. Developed countries accept elements of this case, but try to minimise the cost to their citizens by arguing that rich-world taxpayers cannot be held responsible for the sins of emission of their forebears. While rich countries are responsible for the bulk of the current atmospheric stock of greenhouse gases, they are responsible for a declining share of the flow which is adding to it year on year. Should deficit countries such as the UK and the US to transfer large sums of money to surplus nations such as China? Join the debate. Click on comment.
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