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Hard truths

Researchers at the London School of Economics published some concerning findings last week. Emerging economies – namely Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea, Mexico and Turkey – hold the key to preventing dangerous climate change in the coming century. Stabilising emissions of greenhouse gases in these countries, they forecast, would avoid about twice as much warming as an 80% emissions reduction among developed countries.

In 2008, chinadialogue published the work of David Wheeler, Kevin Ummel and Robin Kraft who came to similar conclusions:

the conventional wisdom is dangerously misguided. The south cannot relegate mitigation to the north until it achieves prosperity. In fact, cumulative emissions from a carbon-intensive south have already reached levels that are dangerous for the south itself. They are more than sufficient to create a global climate crisis, even if the north eliminates all of its emissions immediately.

An immediate and legitimate response would be to emphasise that developed countries need to do their share – cutting emissions hard and fast. But it’s important to note that, even with this action, leading developing countries will have to do their bit as well. It’s time to re-open some awkward conversations about when emissions in these countries should peak. 

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英国是个民主社会,说什么话的人都有。两周前吧,英国的“经济学人”杂志刊登了一片文章,是芬兰的一个研究所里的Glen Peters博士的研究成果,引起世界哗然。文章说的是,发展中国家的能耗增加当然不假,但是很多部分都是因为发展中国家接收发达国家的排放“外包”,为发达国家加工制造各种五花八门的产品所导致的。而现在,这个知名的伦敦金融学院还是说关键是发展中国家。我看只是托词,或者这些经济学家没有做好自己的“家庭作业”,没有对Peters博士的研究很好的研究和了解,是在是件遗憾的事情。







关于Glen Peters博士的研究,大家可以上网看这个http://www.cicero.uio.no/employees/homepage.aspx?person_id=1067&lang=EN 或者直接和他联系。


The onus is on developed countries, that's right, developed countries.

Britain is a democratic society, so there will be diverse views and opinions. Two weeks ago, The Economist magazine in Britain published some research results from a Scottish research group led by Dr. Glen Peters, which caused uproar around the world. The research suggested that whilst it is true that energy consumption is massively growing in developing countries, but this in a large part is due developed countries 'outsourcing' their emissions to developing countries, who produce all manner of products to export back to developed countries. And yet, the reputed London School of Economics still persist in saying the crux of the issue is with developing countries. I see these as excuses, or these economists have not done their homework, regretfully, have not given Dr. Peter's work enough consideration and research.

From the perspective of international trade, developing countries do benefit from changing their trade patterns, and the international division of labour. However it is clear that the benefits derived from this are overwhelmingly in developed countries' favour. Careful research would show that developed countries do in fact gain greater benefit. Without such material incentives, who would play Leifeng, thinking of poor countries with such charity? Who do you think is the fool here?

The organisations of developed countries still criticise developing countries: this in my view is not fair, and does not adhere to reality. If the economies of developed countries were not expanding as they are, without the endlessly increasing demand in consumption (such as Apple's i-phones, for example), as well as hopes for lowering the cost limit of production, I reckon that, if manufacturing were left in these developed countries, the carbon emissions that would result would be even higher than in developing countries.

From the perspective of cutting emissions, there are only two. First, the reduction of production and consumption in developing countries will also incorporate export goods. Second, gradual improvements to production, quality of life and energy efficiency, energy-saving.
Realistically, if exports from developing countries were lowered, this would drastically lower emission levels. For example the carbon emissions produced by China for export goods is said to be 20% of its total emissions. This is not a trivial quantity.

Globalisation was an product of the West, at the time climate change was not an issue. We can only try to rectify Globalisation, not to blame others for their emission levels.

Personally, I think the LSE in making these negative assertions will only contribute to the distrust and suspicion of conspiracy of developing countries towards developed countries. Nevermind the fact that there are currently no solutions for this problem, because developed countries can only up their energy, low-value manufacturing moves to developing countries, with no consideration for developing countries in energy-saving or emissions-reduction. This essay will also not promote the task of energy-saving and emissions reduction in developing countries. The reason is obvious: for developing countries, our energy saving and emissions reduction depends on in the future, production moving abroad, perhaps to the African continent. This is burying your head in the sand, but it is what we learned from developed countries, and it cannot solve the climate change problems that globalisation has posed.

The implications of this article are suited to the appetites of some, that is, those who seek to blame the rise of emissions on globalisation. to weaken globalisation and global trade in the future, by taking the moral high ground: this reeks too much of a conspiracy to me.

Regarding Dr. Glen Peter's research, please find on the web: http://www.cicero.uio.no/employees/homepage.aspx?person_id=1067&lang=EN or contact him directly.

This article has also made clear, the Economist magazine is truly an incisive source of media, really inspirational.