Humans are without a doubt causing climate change, and the inequality around the world only exacerbates the effects. It is unfair that the countries who do not contribute as much to climate change are the countries greatly effected by it.
The human population grew from 1.6 billion to 6.1 billion during the 20th century. It took hundreds of years for the population to reach 1 billion, but it took just a hundred years for the population to sextuple.
More people, means more pollution and a higher demand for food and housing.
This map shows the Human Development Index around the world. The countries that are the darkest blue are most developed and those that are white, are developing. Most countries around the world are still developing.
The richest 10% are responsible for 50% percent of global carbon emissions, while the poorest 50% are only responsible for 10% of carbon emissions.
Because of climate change, certain countries will be experiencing severe weather. For example, Bangladesh will face extreme sea level rises.
The Caribbean will be devastated by extreme and frequent hurricanes.
Large areas of Africa will experience extreme droughts. And by 2100, vast portions of the Middle East will be too hot for humans to live in.
The first priority of developing nations is industrialization. Developing nations are following examples set by developed nations, and so their plans for industrialization require fossil fuels.
Developed nations believe that developing nations should limit their use of fossil fuels.
However, industrialization will help raise some of these developing countries out of poverty and help them on their way towards becoming developed nations.
What the developed nations are asking is unfair and not feasible.
Minority groups within nations are at greater risk in the face of climate change.
Toxic waste sites are intentionally placed in minority neighborhoods because the rich do not want the garbage near their houses.
The wealthy take advantage of poor communities and their health.
Hurricane Katrina is an example of how social inequality plays a huge part in the safety of individuals.
The rich fled the city before the hurricane hit, while the poor had to endure the storm.
The individuals left in the city did not receive help right away. They had to take food from grocery stores in order to survive.
More people were concerned about the individuals stealing from grocery stores than they were concerned about the well-being of those individuals.
"“No nation will be immune to the impacts of climate change,” said a major World Bank report on the issue last year. “However, the distribution of impacts is likely to be inherently unequal and tilted against many of the world’s poorest regions, which have the least economic, institutional, scientific and technical capacity to cope and adapt.” "- Annie Lowrey (New York Times)
"But those who did the least to cause climate change would be the first in the line of fire: the poor and the weak, and communities that were subjected to discrimination." - The Guardian
"Climate change would also make it harder for developing countries to climb out of poverty, and would create "poverty pockets" in rich and poor countries." - The Guardian
All we need to do is work together to stop climate change. But as simple as this sounds, it is not happening.
Instead, the developed countries are emitting as much greenhouse gases as they want, and the developing countries are trying to get out of poverty.
Every country is doing their own thing and disregarding each other.