One of the major problems that could emerge in Copenhagen this week is the division between developed and developing countries. It is the wealthy, industrialised countries that have caused the damage, and it is right that they should bear the brunt of the costs and the cuts. They have a point.
Here’s a map of the world, resized to show carbon emissions:
And here’s a second map, showing per capita mortality estimates – the places that will be hit hardest by climate change:
See how lightly we get off in the North? North America and Europe get off scot free, while Africa and Asia picks up the tab for our emissions. It is a geographic, economic and racial dividing line.
First we plundered Africa for slaves, then for resources, and then for its share of the atmosphere. We owe it to them to cut a genuinely fair deal at Copenhagen.
- Maps taken from UNFPA’s State of the World Population 2009, via Global Dashboard – a blog you really should read, by the way.