Poor Countries Shouldn’t Sacrifice Growth to Fight Climate Change

August 29, 2014 3:27 PM

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Last week, a draft of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the potential impact of rising global temperatures was leaked to the press. According to news accounts, the panel is set to report that the world may soon approach a temperature where the Greenland ice sheet starts irreversibly melting. Over a few centuries, that could raise sea levels by as much as 23 feet. The Obama administration, meanwhile, disclosed that it’s looking for a strong agreement on carbon emissions at next year’s United Nations Climate Summit—the strongest it can forge without needing U.S. Senate consent.

Obama’s push for more aggressive global action should be especially welcome news to poor countries, since the developing world will be most affected by climate change. Yet developing countries need more economic growth and more energy today—and nothing should stand in the way of that progress. Altho...

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