Controversial psychologist and author Jordan Peterson claimed Western countries had no “moral right” to force developing nations to reduce pollution output, noting instead that improving their economies was key.
During an appearance on the BBC’s ‘Question Time’ show on Thursday, the Canadian professor noted that the focus of climate change policies should be on incentivizing the development of cheap energy in poorer polluter countries.
“The best long term solution is to try to make developing countries as rich as possible, and the best way to do that is not control their pollution output, but to help them develop the cheapest energy they can possibly manage as fast as they possibly can,” Peterson said.
The debate saw UK undersecretary for employment Mims Davies suggest that measures taken to tackle climate change should not come at the “expense of developing countries.” But Peterson countered that it “absolutely, 100% will be [at their expense].”
I don’t think we have any moral right in the West at all to do that.
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He also criticized the recent COP26 climate change conference for failing to explore ideas on how best to improve national economies in the developing world, noting that he saw “very little of that sort of idea” coming out of the UN summit.
In the final hours of the two-week conference, China and India had intervened to soften the wording around the use of coal in the Glasgow Pact. The two countries demanded a change in the final text of the agreement that called for coal to be phased out – revising this to “phasing-down unabated coal.”
The move prompted COP26 president and UK minister Alok Sharma to declare that China and India would have to “justify” their actions to countries that were more vulnerable to global warming effects. However, officials in both Beijing and New Delhi have countered that the criticism was unfair.
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