On Friday, China, South Africa, Brazil and India all called on developed and highly industrialised countries to make greater efforts to reduce their emissions. The call comes a few months before the United Nations climate summit, which will be held in Durban, South Africa, this November. The meeting will focus on the extension of the Kyoto Protocol targets that are supposed to be met next year, as well as other plans to reduce global emissions.
The success of the Kyoto Protocol is doubtful, because neither China nor the USA has signed the agreement, even though the two countries are the world’s two heaviest polluters. UN statistics from 2007 show that the percentage increase in CO2 emissions between 1990 and 2007 has been greatest in Brazil, China, South Africa and India, especially when compared to developed industrial countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom. China’s percentage increase, for example, was 165.7%, whereas the United States increase was only 20.2%.
Are these developing nations trying to divert the attention away from their poor attempts at reducing emissions? Or do they genuinely believe the responsibility to reduce global emissions rests on the shoulders of the developed world?