Posts Tagged ‘climate’

Green tariffs make no sense

May 11, 2010 by content_admin No Comments »

Caroline Boin and Alec van Gelder

International climate talks in Bonn last weekend were trying to salvage December’s failed Copenhagen summit.

But some rich countries are imposing their own carbon limits anyway, and threatening to curb imports from poor countries that are not. We believe this will cripple the rich economies and harm the poor countries without doing much about emissions.

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Women ‘bearing brunt’ of climate change

November 18, 2009 by content_admin No Comments »

Critics said that conflating population control with efforts to tackle climate change was overly simplistic. Caroline Boin, an analyst at London-based think tank International Policy Network, also said the report was patronizing to women in the developing world.

“Whatever the problem, UNFPA repeats the same old mantra — the culprit is population and the solution is condoms,” she said. “Food scarcity, water shortages, and health problems in poor countries truly are threats for women. Population and climate control policies are not the solution, and if anything, will give governments an excuse to remain complacent in addressing poverty.”

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Binding Emissions Targets are “Eco-protectionism” says Civil Society

February 29, 2008 by content_admin No Comments »

Friday 29 February, London/New York: Responding to reports that the US, Russia and Japan are pressuring rapidly developing countries such as India and China to sign up to binding emissions targets, an India-based member of the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change described the plans as “eco-protectionism.”

“Globally binding limits on emissions would hold back economic development in India, China and other poor countries, thereby preventing us from solving the problems we face today. The poor are being asked to sacrifice their wellbeing today, so that the rich may enjoy a better tomorrow,” said Coalition member Barun Mitra of India’s Liberty Institute.*

Mitra criticised the push for globally binding limits on emissions, saying that they are clearly being driven by vested interests which see opportunities for short-term profit.  He explained:

“India and China – and increasingly Vietnam and other emerging countries – have become globally competitive in the production of goods as diverse as cars and computers. Some businesses in the US, Japan and Europe clearly view controls on greenhouse gases as a means of ‘levelling the playing field’ by driving up costs in poor countries.  While a very few businesses may profit, it will come at the expense of billions of people who will suffer from the negative economic effects of this scam.”

Mitra added that there is an inherent hypocrisy to the emissions limits advocated by industrialised countries: they will fall hardest upon the world’s poorest people in countries like India, which are most in need of all forms of reliable, clean energy. He said:

“The poor pay with their lives today for lack of energy, transportation, water and sanitation facilities, while ironically the rich world is preaching the virtues of austerity and reducing energy use. Over half a million Indians, largely poor women and children, die each year due to burning of inefficient fuel in their kitchens, but the rich world is promising to save lives in 50 or 100 years.”


Adaptation Doesn’t Need Aid, say Civil Society Groups

December 10, 2007 by content_admin No Comments »

Tuesday, 10 December 2007, Bali, Indonesia: At the UN Climate meeting this week in Bali, ‘development’ NGOs, international agencies and some poor countries have claimed that government money in the form of ‘foreign aid’ channelled from wealthy countries to poor countries is the best way to create ‘adaptation’ to combat the effects of climate change.

Today, members of the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change (CSCCC) disputed this idea and called on governments to reform their policies so as to stop inhibiting the poor from adapting.

Barun Mitra of India’s Liberty Institute, one of the 42 CSCCC members, admonished the proponents of climate aid, saying:

“ ‘Development’ charities from rich countries rely heavily on taxpayer-funded aid given by their governments to poor countries. Selling poverty may be a very successful business model for these charities, but it also prolongs poverty. After all, the ‘end of poverty’ will put these charities out of business.”
It appears that industrialised countries are attempting to pay off government officials in poor countries in exchange for a post-2012 climate agreement. And it is no surprise that this is happening in Indonesia, which was recently rated 144th on the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.

Mitra continued:

“The world’s poor countries are being tempted to bite the foreign aid carrot in exchange for cutting greenhouse gas emissions after 2012.

But cash for climate will fuel corruption, prolong inefficiencies, aggravate emissions, and perpetuate poverty, all in the name of ‘climate control’.”

Data published in the Civil Society Report on Climate Change (December 2007)* show clearly that foreign aid has been largely unsuccessful in stimulating economic growth or adaptation:

  • From 1975 to 2002, foreign aid on average made no net contribution to the economic development of recipient countries.
  • Since 1960, foreign aid has, on average, had no perceptible impact on life expectancy.

Essentially, foreign aid is a substitute for taxation. It alienates governments from their electorate, by undermining their incentive to respond to the needs of their people. It reduces the need for governments to promote economic development.
Clearly, foreign aid is the wrong solution to climate change. Members of the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change suggest that governments must stop inhibiting the poor from adapting. Specifically as this relates to climate change:

  • Governments should enable people to own their property, so that the poor will be able to invest in robust buildings and technologies that insulate their exposure to climate.
  • Governments should eliminate artificial barriers to entrepreneurship (such as licensing systems); i.e. it should allow entrepreneurs to supply insurance and infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

Government should eliminate restrictions that prevent people from accessing clean water, sewerage, and sanitation services. For instance, monopolies in services such as water and electricity should, at the very least, be subjected to competition from private entrepreneurs.


Regulation, Aid Not Solution to Climate Change – Report

December 3, 2007 by content_admin No Comments »

A new report* to be released on Monday December 3rd, produced by 42 institutes from around the world, concludes:

  • Cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the coming two decades is not a cost-effective way to address climate change.
  • Deaths from climate related natural disasters have fallen dramatically since the 1920s, as a result of economic growth and technological development. With continued economic growth, the death rate is likely to continue to fall regardless of climate change. (The number of reported natural disasters has increased continuously since 1900 for various reasons, including population growth and improvements in communication; climate change is most likely not one of them.)
  • There is no evidence that climate change has caused an increase in disease. If the main causes of diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria are properly addressed, climate change will not increase their incidence.
  • Agricultural production has outpaced population growth in the past 50 years. With continued technological improvements, this trend will continue to 2100, even if the global mean temperature rises by 3°C.
  • Water scarcity is a problem in many countries, but with better management and modern technologies, more water can made be available to all.
  • Millions of people in poor countries currently die unnecessarily due to a lack of wealth and technology. These problems have generally been exacerbated – not alleviated – by foreign aid, which has supported unaccountable governments that have oppressed their citizens, denying them the ability to improve their lot.
  • Global restrictions on greenhouse gases would undermine the capacity of people in poor countries to address the problems they face today as well as in the future by retarding economic growth and general economic development.
  • Instead of pushing emissions restrictions and failed ‘aid’ policies, governments should focus on reducing barriers to economic growth and adaptation – e.g. removing trade barriers and decentralising management of water and land.


*The Civil Society Report on Climate Change (ISBN 1-905041-15-2, 100 pp.) published by the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change ( IPN is a member of the CSCCC.


The Civil Society Report on Climate Change comprises:

  • Summary and Policy Recommendations
    By the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change
  • “Human Ecology and Human Behavior: Climate change and health in perspective”
    By Paul Reiter
  • “Death and Death Rates due to Extreme Weather Events: Global & U.S. Trends, 1900-2006″
    By Indur M. Goklany
  • “Weathering Global Warming in Agriculture and Forestry: It can be done with free markets”
    By Douglas Southgate and Brent Sohngen
  • “The Political Economy of Global Warming, Rent Seeking and Freedom”
    By Wolfgang Kasper