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The greening of the south

To avoid the most calamitous effects of climate change, rich countries must work out a way of paying poor ones to develop cleanly. But the scale of the transfers required means that big political battles lie ahead—whatever mechanism is finally chosen

By Simon Retallack   144

The single most important issue in the climate change debate is the question of how northern industrialised countries can pay southern industrialising countries to develop cleanly. Unless an answer is found soon, there is no hope of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.

Projected emissions of greenhouse gases from the global south would trigger dangerous climate change even if the north were to cut its emissions to zero tomorrow. The developing world is already responsible for 45 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, with China having just overtaken the US as the biggest single emitter and India…

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