Actually it is the other way around. The reason we did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol is because it did not include developing nations such as China and India. China now emits more CO2 than we do, but has over 3 times as many people. We need to get out of the mindset of it “being fair” and just do it and lead by example. If we were to invest our dollars in developing new ways to harness energy, and actually used what we developed, instead of shipping our jobs and products abroad, the world would be a better place. Below is a chart of emissions by country. We have companies such as Applied Materials who develop solar panels, but are sending the jobs abroad to places like China and Germany, because there is no market for solar here.
Appearances can often be deceiving. Legislation in China can be tricky to implement because they are dealing with about one fifth of the world’s population. If China is indeed waiting for us to make moves toward being green before they implement them themselves, it very well might be because they want an example of effective policy. It also could be that they aren’t waiting at all, it just is harder to make some changes because they have such a huge population.
“Fair” is a term that means different things to different people. Looking at the problem historically, the US, has had the chance to develop industrially without worrying at all about greenhouse gas emissions. Is it fair, then, that China doesn’t have the same chance? Probably not. But on the other hand, is it fair that everyone must suffer the consequences of global warming just because China wants “a fair chance”? Again, probably not. Being green “fairly” is not as important as simply being green, in my opinion.
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