Views and debates on climate change policy
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THE QUESTION

Responsibility among rich vs. poor nations

Almost every key question at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen comes down to how should rich and poor countries shoulder responsibility for climate change. What would be a way of reconciling these differences?

Posted by Washington Post Editor on December 15, 2009 8:30 AM
FROM THE PANEL

Common but different responsibilities

The sharing of reductions of greenhouse gas emissions among nations is challenging because the emissions are so disproportionate.

Posted by Donald F. Boesch, on December 18, 2009 8:35 AM

Global problem needs global solution

Climate change is a global problem requiring a global solution. This means all nations must work together to solve it -- urgently -- if we want to keep a stable climate.

Posted by Nigel Sheinwald, on December 16, 2009 2:10 PM

United? Nations

The nations of the world are certainly not united at the talks in Copenhagen. Rich and poor countries seem worlds apart when it comes to agreeing as to what needs to be done to stem the increase in global temperatures.

Posted by Rick Edmund, on December 16, 2009 12:49 PM

Time to put all bets on table

In poker, there is a saying: Trust everyone, but cut the cards. The same saying could apply to financing and monitoring and verification battles that are part of the international climate change negotiations taking place in Copenhagen this week.

Posted by Ned Helme, on December 16, 2009 4:15 AM

Cost sharing

Much of this issue is moot, or ought to be, since none of the world's major greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting nations is truly poor. Poor countries simply don't have enough electricity generation, factories, capital-intensive farming and automobiles to produce significant volumes of GHGs.

Posted by Robert J. Shapiro, on December 15, 2009 11:55 AM

Cooperation on technology is necessary

This has been a continuing source of tension between rich and poor countries since COP-1 and there has been little progress because the COP process is predicated on an imminent catastrophe instead of a long term challenge that will take a long term perspective to address effectively.

Posted by William O'Keefe, on December 15, 2009 9:03 AM

Poor nations have better things to worry about

As a first-time observer at a UN climate change conference, one thing that stands out here in Copenhagen is just how many delegates come from nations that ought to have far higher priorities than dealing with global warming.

Posted by Ben Lieberman, on December 15, 2009 8:57 AM

Show me the money . . .

With the second week of Copenhagen now upon us and the days rapidly counting down to the conclusion of the summit, the true meaning of climate change politics is showing its hand - money.

Posted by David Hone, on December 15, 2009 8:44 AM

Issues come down to morality, economics and politics

The divide between rich and poor countries over climate change ultimately raises three fundamental concerns: morality, economics, and politics. Each also provides a different lens for approaching the issue.

Posted by Bernard Finel, on December 15, 2009 8:35 AM

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