Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New Wave of Climate Pledges from Developing Countries Shows a Shift in the Geopolitics of Climate Change
Press Release

RELEASE: New Wave of Climate Pledges from Developing Countries Shows a Shift in the Geopolitics of Climate Change

Washington, D.C.— India’s announcement yesterday of its new climate targets caps a recent series of commitments from developing countries to address climate change. The Center for American Progress addresses the current shift in the geopolitics of climate action in a new column published today. Climate action is no longer regarded as being in the purview of developed countries alone.

“A common criticism against the United States pursuing domestic emissions reductions or providing climate finance is that these efforts would be ineffective against a backdrop of exponentially increasing emissions from fast-developing economies,” said Gwynne Taraska, Senior Policy Advisor at CAP. “This argument now holds little force in the face of the climate action we are seeing from developing countries.”

The global emissions landscape has changed since the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change identified developed countries for a separate set of obligations in 1992. China now outstrips the U.S. in greenhouse gas pollution, and other developing countries—including India, Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico—are among the 10 largest emitters.

In recent months, China, Mexico, Brazil, and now India have made pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many developing countries are now contributing to international climate finance as well.

The forthcoming Paris climate agreement will cement this shift in the geopolitics of climate change. In the agreement, all countries, developed and developing alike, will be expected to commit to emissions reductions and upgrade their commitments over time. Opposition to the Paris agreement amounts only to support for an old regime of obligations, while this series of recent climate pledges proves there is a new landscape of carbon pollution and climate action.

Click here to read the column, “Paris: The New Geopolitics of Climate Change.”

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For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Liz Bartolomeo at lbartolomeo@americanprogress.org or 202.481.8151.

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