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April 2, 2008 / Mridul

Four Nations Ready To Be ‘Guinea Pigs’ In The Fight Against Climate Change


Guinea pigs because it hasn’t been tried ever before – an entire country going carbon neutral. Obviously the risk related to such an exercise are much greater than actually perceived since it is a completely new idea with significant social and economic consequences. For turning an entire country carbon neutral extensive planning needs to be done so that the economy gets all the fuel to keep the growth engine running.

Today governments around the world are struggling to strike between the efforts to control the rising carbon emissions and ensuring healthy economic growth. Under pressure international agreements and more importantly due to the dreadful conclusions of the climate studies by Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, the governments of various nations have gone become more urgent in their efforts to systemize a sustainable environment policy without hampering their economic growth.

He spells out the diverse challenges facing each of the contenders. Norway’s main issue, he said, was “emissions from oil and gas”, whereas most of New Zealand’s pollution came from agriculture. Iceland’s “central challenge” was “transport and industry, including fishing”, while Costa Rica faced the special circumstances of being a developing country.

Four nations in race to be first to go carbon neutral – The Independent

United Nations Environment Program’s executive director, Achim Steiner, summarizing the difficulties that these nations would have to face while they attempt to go carbon neutral.

With the desire to take a lead in the implementation of eco-friendly practices, the EU proudly rolled out plans to use biofuels in place of the polluting petrol (gasoline). Unfortunately (or fortunately), EU’s biofuel dreams were shattered when scientists revealed that production of biofuel crops adversely affects the environment and now the plans are halted.

This is only one of the many dilemmas that these nations are going to face and while they try out new and untested solutions there are bound to be some failures and that is where the rest of the world needs to concentrate. Because it is from our failures that we would learn the tough lessons, how to balance the exigency to save our planet and the need to keep up the economic growth.



Leave a Comment
  1. Yearblook / Apr 3 2008 3:38 am

    I liked you post, so I submitted it to yearblook – a competition to find the days best blog posts.

  2. Meg / Sep 27 2008 2:30 pm

    Its one thing for well-meaning governments such as New Zealand (where I live) to announce they wish to undertake such an ambitious plan.

    In the real world they can’t actually do a great deal. At home it tends to be a contentious issue and the people with the loudest voices and most immediately compelling arguements are usually those who have a vested interest in keeping the status quo.

    Personally I cannot see the current New Zealand Government actually having the political will to force through the changes in the face of fierce opposition from business and industry.

    We are heading into an election shortly and it seems highly likely that we will be moving from a nominally liberal Government to a more right-wing Government. If this comes about I see our targets being either abandoned or at the very least the targets being pushed back considerably.

  3. Mridul Chadha / Sep 27 2008 7:44 pm

    Thanks for commenting Meg.

    I totally agree with you that at least the New Zealand government has shown an intent to do something about the rising carbon emissions and the changing climate. Hopefully this intent would transform into some real action which would inspire other countries to unveil similar programs.

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