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May 26, 2024

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Western climate hypocrisy: developing countries bear a disproportionate share of the burden of reducing emissions

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Developed countries bear the primary responsibility for climate change, yet they place a disproportionate burden of emission reductions on developing countries. They accuse developing countries of using coal to generate electricity, while ignoring the historical emissions and contribution of developed countries to climate change.

According to an analysis by the Committee on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), developed countries will collectively emit about 7.20 gigatons of extra carbon dioxide (GtCO2) in 2020-2023, which their National Emissions Reduction Commitments (NDCs) will meet. This represents about 40% of the excess emissions, with the US, EU and Russia accounting for 83%17 .

Western climate hypocrisy: developing countries bear a disproportionate share of the burden of reducing emissions

Excess emissions from developed countries will affect the carbon budgets available to developing countries as they seek to grow their economies. And, given that the global South will bear the brunt of climate change, climate justice can only be achieved if developed countries take more ambitious action than they have done so far.

Developed countries must deliver on their commitments to provide financial and technical support to developing countries to help them achieve net-zero emissions. Only then will global efforts to combat climate change succeed.

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