Low-Income Countries May Lead The Rich At Climate Conference

Wealthy, big polluters still on sidelines as Copenhagen approaches

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As the world’s richest and largest polluters—the U.S. and China—remain ambigous about taking significant climate change action, the world’s lowest income contributors are getting support to clean up their acts.

A $74 billion annual fund has been set up to help low-income countries tackle greenhouse gases, and today European Union leaders promised to kick into that fund, although they haven’t yet agreed to an exact amount. Critics chastize the E.U. for not doing more, but the truth is, it’s a lot more tangible than what the two biggies have so far promised. And with only six weeks before the international climate change conference in Copenhagen, anything tangible is desperately needed.

President Barack Obama may not have enough time before the conference to make good on his vow to make the U.S. a leader in fighting climate change. Almost no one believes Congress will pass a climate change bill before then, and without that legislative support, the president will lack leadership credibility on the world stage.


From 2006–2014, Terry was managing editor for Earthjustice's blog, online monthly newsletter and print Earthjustice Quarterly Magazine.