Is an even bigger refugee crisis coming? As Europe struggles with its largest refugee crisis since the Second World War, the president of France, François Hollande, has warned that failure to reach a global agreement at the upcoming climate change talks in Paris this December could result in millions of refugees fleeing climate disaster.

One of the key sticking points in the negotiations is the question of financial assistance for developing countries, to help them cut emissions and make the transition towards cleaner economies. Developing countries argue that they have not been responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions produced since the industrial revolution. On the other hand, developed countries are worried that accepting too much liability will open a Pandora’s Box of blame, and argue they do not have the resources to tackle the issue alone.

India is one country that argues the West should pay more for climate change. Can Europe and India reach an agreement on this question? Is there a way round this impasse to a solution that both sides are happy with? To get a response, we spoke to Rajni Bakshi, Gandhi Peace Fellow at Gateway House, an Indian foreign policy think-tank. Here’s what she had to say about EU-India cooperation on climate change:

bakshiWell, let’s first look at the need end of it from India’s point of view. I was just looking at chart showing the historical availability of electricity, and Europe has been in the 100% electricity access category for 40 or 50 years now. In India, however, the reality is that only 67% of the rural population and 93% of the urban population have electricity today. So, in India [increasing our electricity supply] is a question of fairness of access to what is an essential good…

That’s the context. Therefore the most basic way this cooperation can thrive is for Europe to continue to make more ambitious cuts. As you know, the European targets are way above the American ones, and that’s very much appreciated in India, but most of the environmental movement in India perceive that the European targets need to be still a little bit more ambitious…

To get another perspective, we also spoke to Neena Gill, a British Labour MEP and Vice-Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with India. Did she think that rich countries should pay more for climate change?

gillWell, this is exactly the position of the Indian government. I believe the World Resources Institute has calculated that India was responsible for only 2.4% of greenhouse gas emissions globally since 1850. So, India clearly believes that the developed world has caused the problem and should pay more. So, India is looking to the West to support its energy projects, and it expects developed countries to do more.

Having said that, the developed world alone cannot address the entire climate change problem alone. I think it is important that every country takes on its responsibilities. So, I think the developed world should makes available technical assistance to developing countries, but it’s important that this challenge is addressed by all countries.

Should rich countries pay more for climate change? Should the EU offer greater support to India because of Europe’s historical legacy of greenhouse gas emissions? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Bill Dickinson

45 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Bita Nahal Peace

    Iran, china, India and few other highly air and environmental polluted countries, should not only pay more, but also take and make decisive measures in adopting to producing and using environmentally sustainable and clean energy

  2. avatar
    catherine benning

    Should ‘rich countries’ pay more is a euphanism for the tax payer on low to middle income. The ‘rich’ don’t pay taxes, meaning taxes, according to the planet billionaires, is only for the stupid.

    So, as others have written already, if you want to see a payment for pollution, then charge the corporations who produce the mess. And charge their main men directly in their own pockets. Not via their corporate responsibility.

    However, why are they being given permission to pollute. Are you asking the EU citizen, in a back handed way, to collude in the pollution of our planet? If the answer is yes, then this is telling them they must be prepared to pay for any damage it may cause. Thereby obsolving our leaders of any ‘guilt’ for their actions.

  3. avatar

    Nobody should pay anything for climate change, as climate has always changed with or without humans.
    Notice how “global warming” has turned in recent years into the more ambiguous “climate change“.
    “Climate change” is just another cultural Marxist myth.

    • avatar

      the rich should pay obviously

  4. avatar
    Rui Duarte

    We can’t «pay» for climate change: we need to change the way we «apropriate» natural resources, the way we «use» the planet, the way we «produce». Companies, starting with mining and oil companies must be LESS FREE to abuse our planet. Neither «subsidies» nor «carbon taxes» are the solution.

  5. avatar
    Omid Danesh Khorak

    Are the actual solutions and their consequent charges of money the effective way, or my secret solution should be supported by a myself-approved entity?

  6. avatar

    The myth that western countries are rich will be exposed in the next few decades. Collectively bankrupt, is the proper way to describe the western world. As soon as the western world can’t plunder the resources of the rest of the world anymore, the party’s over.

  7. avatar
    Borislav Valkov

    The industrialization made the continent enter a new era in the wealth of the people. At the same time that industrialization started the climate change. Should we force those who didn’t entered the industrialization and have no wealth to pay for that?

  8. avatar
    Jason Picci

    So you mean Qatar, Luxembourg, Singapore, Brunei, Kuwait, Norway, UAE, San Marino, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and USA in descending order? Yes, that seems fair.

  9. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Absolutely YES. These are the countries that burned more coal, oil and polluted more! But so should the current big polluters.

  10. avatar

    Absolutely YES. These are the countries that burned more coal, oil and polluted more! But so should the current big polluters!

  11. avatar
    Almisa Hidic

    Ich habe die idee wie das sehr einfah und schnnel kann gut machen nur brauchen richtige leute welche kann das realisiren architekt und menadzer.

  12. avatar
    Nicko Toka

    Neither! The ones that should pay are the polluters. It does not matter if they are rich or poor. And witch ones are the polluters? The Industries. Whose are the industries? So actually the big international companies of the rich countries go and nest at the poor countries, so the poor countries pollute more. Nice playing ah? For me the answer is that the pollutants have to pay independently. If the pollution is caused by a country/state then this country has to pay the amount of the pollution it is causes. But if the pollution is produced by a private corporation (national or international) they have to pay as well for themselves and not the country that they reside.

  13. avatar
    Stefanos Karpen

    Debating Europe has deleted the last week’s debate regarding the entrance of Turkey in the EU. This is not a good sign. Is there any specific reason for that action?

  14. avatar

    Of course, there is no reason advanced and industrialized countries can shift the burden to late developed economies. More importantly, late developed economies are now doing the more dirty jobs for customers of the advanced economies to enjoy. Late developed economies are not enjoying too much what they have produced, though they have accumulated wealth with the labour, the advanced economies are also earning much more with the final products. Hence, the advanced economy ought to pay more for climate change. But the president of the largest economy has withdrawn the country from the Accord de Paris now. The US has been consuming most of the world’s production but its president has denied the climate change and even worse, withdrawn from the agreement. How can the US expects itself to lead the world?

  15. avatar

    Rich countries should pay more but poorer countries should work harder for climate change, which is, foreign investment should not aim at accumulation of maximum wealth at the expanse poor countries’ environment.

Your email will not be published

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of new comments. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More debate series – Debating Asia-Europe View all

By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our Privacy Policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.