Rich countries vs. Poor countries

http://www.economist.com/daily/columns/greenview/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9497272
Following a publication on the Economist web site, I’d like to comment on the fact that, according to the recent HSBC poll, people from the rich countries are less concerned of the damaging environmental effects than the people from the poor countries. Complexity of the economic system of a developed nation provides a stronger safety net to allow to mitigate or delay effects of environmental impacts, to redistribute negative implications through complex and interdependant economy. In the poor countries, where economies are often fully dependant on limited number of main industries, any environmental negative impacts are realized in much faster and more direct ways. In terms of specific examples, a drought (caused by global warming) in Canada will not bring such a devastating negative effects on national economy, as compared to Ecuador, where the main GDP component is agriculture. People in poor countries fully realize their dependancy on environmental and therefore, voice their concerns more actively.

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Posted in ecological degradation, economic development
One comment on “Rich countries vs. Poor countries
  1. perrine says:

    It is true that developing countries, though they often do not contribute as much as developed countries do to global warming and pollution, suffer from the damage caused.
    However some of these countries can turn te sustainable development issue into competitive advantage.
    During the “World Economic Forum on Latin America” that took place in Santiago de Chile in April 2007, heads of governments and business leaders discussed various issues regarding the region’s development, among which: leadership, education, corruption fighting, foreign investment, an climate change.
    (http://www.weforum.org/en/knowledge/Events/2007/WorldEconomicForumonLatinAmerica/KN_SESS_SUMM_21248?url=/en/knowledge/Events/2007/WorldEconomicForumonLatinAmerica/KN_SESS_SUMM_21248)
    This last issue is at great interest for company leaders agreed that reducing carbon emissions within their activities could be turned into a competitive advantage. First because governments are ready to provide financial support to clean industries. Also because carbon emissions for the region are not high, they can “start from scratch”: it is much easier for non (or virtually non) CO2 producing business not to start heavily polluting activities than changing existing production processes into more environmental-friendly ones.
    Furthermore, globalisation implies fiercer competition. As growing players on the global market, countries like Brazil and Chile will have to invest in environmental matters to remain competitive. Chilean GrupoNueva joined the Chicago Climate Exchange and invests in biomass energy. Brazilian companies’s strong leadership in biofuels is also to be stressed. These investments have already stated to pay off: Latin America’s share of carbon emissions are falling.
    Though these countries concern about sustainable development brought them advantage on the competitive global market and even helped them reduce harmful emissions, let us notice and stress that only ‘big’ developing countries (here Chile and Brazil) are making the most of sustainable development as an opportunity for growth. Smaller countries such as Ecuador, Peru or Bolivia still have not reached this level: either because they do not have the financial capacity to heavily invest in clean industries, and also because their ecological consciousness has not gotten through sufficient maturity.

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