Sometimes no. For some developing nations, there’s a critical lack of infrastructure that hampers collective action. For example, they may not be sufficiently unified in any sort of national consciousness that would make them feel obligated to work together to fight global warming. If the country has serious ethnic, cultural, or religious divides in its population, it’s highly unlikely that they could produce a leader that everyone would listen to. For countries with abundant resources and cheap energy, those that became wealthy and powerful through environmental exploitation and extraction industries, there is a fundamental conflict of interest. To protect the environment equals cannibalizing their own revenue. As a result, developing nations usually lack leaders either willing or able to make the sacrifices associated with environmental protection.
Let me just say this: the upcoming developing countries- China, India, Brazil, Indonesia- all have particularly brilliant leadership at times. In terms of raw ability, China’s leadership especially deserves some kudos.
But, as ziapan stated, there is a fundamental conflict of interest. Environmental movements tend to stifle growth. Developing nations are hurrying to grow as fast as possible. It should be obvious that the two and irreconcilable.
External incentives are necessary. The correct question is whether or not the most powerful nations in the world have the correct leadership.
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