UN Climate Talks Are Breaking Down Again

As the UN Climate talks enter their second week, it is apparent that all is not well. The sticking point: “Poor countries argue that richer countries are responsible for most of the carbon-dioxide already the atmosphere, so they should pay for the damage caused by global warming. The rich countries, for their part, point out that you also have to look at future emissions when divvying up blame — which puts the spotlight on fast-growing nations like China and India.”

The Washington Post summarizes the breakdown in five charts:

  1. The U.S. and Europe are responsible for nearly half of the man-made carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere — but that’s changing fast.
  2. Developing nations are now responsible for the majority of emissions each year.
  3. China now emits as much carbon dioxide per person as the European Union.
  4. Wealthy nations continue to “outsource” some of their carbon to poorer nations.
  5. And, by the way, the world is still nowhere close to meeting its climate goals.
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