Climate change, global warming, these are all terms we are too familiar with, and we know how destructive they can be. That’s why delegates from countries all over the world are meeting in Glasgow, Scotland under the Presidency of The UK for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26.
In the discussion of COP26, world leaders will find ways on how to control climate change, keeping economy, environment and development unscathed. Many solutions come up in mind when talking about solutions to Climate change, such as Reducing Carbon Emission, Afforestation, Levying taxes on Fossil Fuels etc. But how do these decisions affect Developing countries, such as mine? In this writing, I will go through some common ideas that could be potential solutions for climate change, and speak from the perspective of my country about how efficient they could prove to be.
Firstly, Afforestation or Planting trees to absorb the carbon exerted in the atmosphere is a good idea, but not quite easy to achieve on a much larger scale. Also, Afforestation doesn’t only mean planting trees, it means to plant them in a planned, and sustainable way. There are many countries applying this method, but as a developing agricultural country and with high population density, my country doesn’t have enough area to create large forests, as we need to support the growing population. One solution of this problem can be to create sustainable cities, so that they make up the lack of trees in the natural regions. But a developing country doesn’t have resources to rebuild every city as sustainable cities. Although there are some countries that have done this, they are mostly economically and socially developed.
Secondly, Reducing Carbon Emission is a very popular opinion to stop climate change. If you see in a wider perspective, the emission can be categorized in 2 categories, one is Luxury Emissions, and the other is Necessary Emissions. As an agricultural country, most of my country’s emissions fall into the Necessary emissions, as our economy is agriculture based. That is the reason, reducing overall carbon emission will be a very difficult, if not nearly impossible, for countries like mine who are developing and has an agriculture-dependent economy. So, we should focus of reducing the unnecessary and luxury emissions first.
For solutions, let’s look at Sweden. Sweden has the highest Carbon Tax rates as 110 € per metric ton of Carbon as of 2020. Currently, Sweden has reduced its carbon emissions by 27% between 1990 and 2018, all while maintaining an economic growth, with its real GDP per capita growing by more than 50% from 1990 to 2019. So, why aren’t all countries switching to the ways of Sweden? Renewable energy is a lot cheaper than it used to be, and it seems as a good way to tackle climate change.
That is where the problem arises. Developing countries lack the necessary infrastructure to produce, distribute and store enough renewable energy to support a whole country. It also goes without saying that most of the countries of the world have a fossil fuel dependent economy, so, while lacking infrastructure for renewable energy, fossil fuels seem to be the best option for many governments.
We need to change the above scenario, and for that, many governments are already taking steps. Developed countries like China have taken mass projects to promote and switch to renewable energy and reduce Carbon Emissions. I personally think that we should improve necessary infrastructure in developing countries so that they can support their transition to renewable energy, and increasing awareness within the people so that renewable energy can get more support.
Thank you for reading. Please discuss down below if you have alternate ideas about climate solutions from the perspective of a developing country.