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Chinese Daily Insists, Fight Poverty First, Then the Climate

Nov. 4, 2021 (EIRNS)—A prominent Global Times “GT Voice” column, “Modi’s Ambitious Climate Pledge Incompatible with India’s Starving Population,” is the most powerful statement that has been made so far, of the necessity for economic development over climate colonialism. Global Times makes the point that rich nations should explain how poor nations should meet climate targets without renouncing the fight against poverty.

“It is an open question as to whether India’s economy can support its ambitious emissions-reduction target. The 2015 Paris climate agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels is supposed to address climate change and its negative impacts. Yet, if emissions-reduction efforts fail to consider improving livelihoods, domestic pressure of hunger will likely derail environmental protection efforts,”

the GT Voice, signed by Global Times said.

“When Western leaders tout their efforts toward limiting global warming by pressuring the developing world to sign up for bigger targets, they are, in effect, passing the buck of climate action. Developed countries have used fossil fuels for decades or longer to enjoy the benefits of high living standards, contributing to historic emissions much higher than developing countries that are reluctant to stop using their share of fossil fuels to give up the interests of their poor population.

“When Western leaders talked a big game about their emissions-reduction targets and criticized those deemed as uncooperative at the COP26, no one mentioned how they would ensure the development of poverty-stricken countries. If the West does not have a clear and workable plan for poverty alleviation in developing countries, the entire climate targets would be flawed for disregarding the fact that developing countries may not have the basis to deliver on their promises.”

The editors dismiss as “not credible” the G20’s past promises to help poor countries with compensation for losing development; the $100 billion a year promised in 2009 never arrived. “Under these circumstances, if anyone from the advanced economies still think that the developing world needs to commit more to the climate action, they should go to India to experience the real hunger before lecturing others.”

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