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Let climate mitigation policies be fair to both rich and poor countries

By Hasnain Noorani | Jan 27th 2022 | 2 min read

As we saw last year at COP26 in Glasgow, international imbalances of the climate crisis are coming to the fore. Responsibility for preventing catastrophe is falling disproportionately on the lower-income countries that did least to cause it and are least able to bear the cost.

The global response to the climate crisis must be fair to be effective. Yet international policies risk undermining climate justice for developing countries by prioritising near-term emission reductions over broader support for economic development and green energy transitions.

This approach could brutally deter poverty alleviation, structural transformation, and climate resilience.

Most developed countries are responsible for a great share of the historical carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere today. Africa and the Middle East together account for under 5 per cent of these emissions.

High-income countries also continue to have much higher per capita emissions than most of the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the populations of lower-income countries particularly children and women are more vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate change.

Tourism and hospitality, the industry that I am in is weather and climate-dependent. It is therefore very likely that climate change will affect our business area sooner or later. Climate change can prolong heat waves or change the patterns of annual rainfall.

Net-zero emissions

The effects of climate change on our business area can be manifold, and be both negative and positive. If we are unprepared our business establishments may suffer from the negative effects, while being unable to benefit from possible positive effects.

Climate variability is important for many types of tourism, while climate change can make the variability more extremely.

The pathway toward net-zero emissions for the developing world’s hydrocarbon-producing economies needs to be defined.

International support must enable energy transitions that do more than decarbonise in low-emitting, energy-poor countries; such transitions also need to power job creation and economic diversification and improve access to electricity for households, paving the way for a prosperous, low-carbon future.

Energy transitions should help these countries take full advantage of emerging low-carbon and renewable technologies and industries, not only as consumers but as producers, manufacturers, developers, and research hubs.

We must keep building stronger co-operation and exchange among all nations on an equal footing together with civil society and the private sector. Only then can the international community effectively support countries to find the right solutions to their specific development challenges and drive a global response to the climate crisis that does not undermine the very nations most devastated by its impacts.

Mr Hasnain is Group Managing Director, PrideInn Hotels & Investments.  

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