On Saturday climate change delegates concluded their latest round of negotiations on implementing the Paris agreement at the UN climate conference in Katowice, Poland.
The delegates at COP24 worked to agree on a so-called “rule book” for the Paris agreement that spells out a cohesive set of standards and procedures for enacting emissions-reducing policies to be followed by treaty signatories.
A major sticking point in negotiations was hammering out a new set of transparency standards. Negotiators and NGOs representing developing countries at COP24 have said that the rule book would impose new and difficult guidelines on them, while letting developed countries set the rules and ignore the consequences.
The issue of transparency presents an infrastructural and institutional problem for the poorest Asian countries, and in places like China and India, it also presents a contradiction. Both countries are in the process of lifting their populations out of poverty and building modern cities while creating a new generation of wealth and technology. At the same time, there is widespread poverty outside of the developed islands of prosperity.
This economic rise has released a massive amount of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere and the poorest regions of these countries are vulnerable to the acute effects of climate change like crop degradation and food shortages.
Transparency vs. poverty
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