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

By Hasnain Noorani | Jan 28th 2022 | 2 min read

Climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at a Fridays for Future march during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain in November 5, 2021. [Reuters, Russell Cheyne]

As we saw last year at COP 26 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 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 are weather and climate dependent. It is, therefore, likely that climate change will affect this business area sooner or later. Climate change can prolong heat waves or change the annual rainfall patterns.

Net-zero emissions

The effects of climate change on tourism and hospitality can be manifold, and be both negative and positive. If we are unprepared, business establishments in this sub-sectors 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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