The Conflict Within the Cop21 Treaty: Catch-up Countries against Mature Economies

Jan-erik Lane


The COP21 Agreement harbours a conflict between Third world and First world countries that has cropped up in tensions in all meetings by the UNFCCC. On the one hand, there is the catch-up set of countries —emerging economies—that have recently “taken off” economically and that will not accept a trade-off between economic development and environmental need of cutting emissions. On the other hand, there is the set of mature economies that grow sluggishly and have started to cut back on fossil fuels, especially coal. The first set of nations want the second set to pay for their gigantic energy transformation in a few decades —decarbonisation. The first set claimed that they had not created the big problem originally, and that fairness requires that the rich help the poor. At the COP21 summit, a deal was struck, worth 100 billion dollars per year to fund a Stern (2007) like Super Fund. But will it really be put in place and made operational?

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