Should developed countries pay developing countries to curb carbon emissions?


Forum Staff
Apr 2010
T'Republic of Yorkshire
A new report states that China's carbon emissions per head have exceeded the EU's for the first time, and India's is set to do the same:
BBC News - China's per capita carbon emissions overtake EU's

Separately, Norway is paying Liberia not to cut down trees:
BBC News - Liberia signs 'transformational' deal to stem deforestation

Now, one of the objections from countries like China to Western prssure to reduce emissions is "you've already benefitted from massive carbon emissions, now you want to deprive us of the same opportunity". Furthermore, the growth of China's (and indeed, other countries with a low-cost export economy) emissions is driven by Western demand for goods.

So here's a thought - should the West and other developed countries pay the likes of China to cut their carbon emissions?

Note - this thread assumes that you agree that carbon emissions are a factor in manmade global warming. If you do not believe that, or don't believe in manmade global warming at all, that is another discussion for another thread.
Jan 2009
Pay a decent price for goods bought from Third world countries.
If you want to deal with things like employee slavery, horrible working conditions, pollution of all forms beyond Carbon, then don't squeeze them ruthlessly for the lowest bidder price.
Because they are desperate enough for your contract that they will cut everything down to win it.


Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
Pay a decent price for goods bought from Third world countries.
Of course, if you're going to pay a decent price for goods bought from third world countries, then a fair portion of incentive to buy them from third world countries in the first place suddenly vanishes. We have plenty of unemployed people in the west, and plenty of people working trivial (or even meaningless) jobs. If we're willing to pay well for goods, then it makes more sense to develop local expertise and use local labor to produce them.
May 2014
Best to 'pay indirectly' by waiving off or subdizing green technolgy sales (incl. 'clean coal' ?) , upgrading infrastructure and so on. Of course it is even better for China and India to look for alternatives themselves though it is easier said than done.

Only wealthier nations usually care more about environment, so there is a long-term interest in making these transfers to close the gap sooner. Even in wealtheir countries like the US, due to economic downturns, you can see the resistance to pro-environmental concerns, hence support for offshore drilling, fracking and so on.