Back to the complete issue
Wednesday, 2 October 2019

The argument for exempting developing countries from climate change action

Exempting developing countries from climate change mitigation expectations would help them economically without significantly worsening the climate situation, Channing Ardt writes for the Financial Times. Developing countries currently seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the environment: If no action is taken to curb emissions, they would be affected more than their developed counterparts, but they also are not economically developed enough to adopt mitigation plans without seeing their economies suffer. Alongside researchers at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, Ardt found that low-income countries could see economic benefits from being temporarily exempted from fossil fuel cuts within 30 years. In Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, for example, “relatively modest efforts to cut emissions could increase the average GDP” by 2-6 percentage points versus a scenario where no action is taken worldwide to rein in temperature increases.

Developing countries contribute far less to the planet’s carbon footprint, but have far more to gain from climate action: The researchers argue that developed economies are already disproportionately larger contributors to emissions than developing nations, meaning they should take more action and climate change can still largely be mitigated even if developing countries do not contribute to emissions cuts. In turn, setting real restrictions on emissions would create a domino effect starting with lower demand for oil (and therefore lower prices). “If poorer countries are allowed a period of several years in which they are exempt from meeting emission-reduction targets (as our model assumes), the lower fuel prices could stimulate economic growth and development. Since nearly all low-income countries are net oil importers, these gains would be widespread,” Ardt says.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.