The Need For Asian Climate Leadership

It's a Western problem, we said. They caused the problem by dumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere; let them clean it up. Instead, we Asian leaders focused on reducing poverty by growing our economies. We were not responsible for the pollution, we argued; so we should not have to pay for it. Yes, Asia's industrialisation was quietly building up toxic stores of carbon, but we were only following the rich world's prescription for success. Carbon equals growth, it said; and, like those who took up smoking on the doctor's orders, we were not to blame. There was a time when the assumptions underpinning this line of thinking were true.
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