The front lines of climate change

Photo: Braden Gunem

From 2002-2008, two-thirds of the growth in renewable and nuclear power was in developing countries, according to Foreign Policy. This rapid growth is expected to continue.  India plans significant renewable energy growth by 2020 and China can boast about its tough fuel efficiency standards and diversified power generation methods.

While developed nations are responsible for the bulk of pollution that brings about climate change, developing nations disproportionately bear the cost. Because they see the forefront of climate change and its effects, many developing economies are taking the initiative to inspire their citizens to be more responsible with energy and natural resources.

The UN program Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degredation (REDD) spearheads an effort to create financial incentives to developing countries to protect, conserve and sustainably manage their forests. In Tanzania, benefits for the poor are already apparent. In villages where people have traditionally made their living off of the forest, people are now developing nurseries, keeping bees and other industries that do not require the harvest of the forest, giving them access to affordable microfinance to help them get off the ground. Many have also been able to shift to more efficient stoves that allow a bundle of firewood to last a week instead of three to four days.

For more information, see the website for REDD and the articles on Foreign Policy and AlertNet.