OFID on Energy Poverty
Although energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from developing countries are growing very fast, they must be viewed on a cumulative as well as a per capita basis in order to understand the true picture. As illustrated in the graph below, the carbon footprint of developing countries is much lighter than that of the OECD countries, and projections from the Department of Energy in the USA indicate that this gap will remain wide for the foreseeable future. It would therefore be wrong to impede the social and economic development of the majority of the world's population out of concern for the environment. On the contrary, all three pillars of Sustainable Development – Economic Growth, Social Development and Protection of the Environment should be pursued in a balanced way. As the UNDP Human Development Report 2008 indicates: “With their historic responsibility for the energy emissions that are driving climate change and their fardeeper current carbon footprints, rich countries have a moral obligation to support adaptation indeveloping countries. They also have the financial resources to act on that obligation. The businessas- usual model for adaptation is indefensible and unsustainable.” In other words, both CO2 mitigation and climate change adaptation are global issues, demanding coordinated responses.