The Right to Economic Development Is a Fundamental Human Right

Contrary to the line duly repeated at the Climate Summit by Western representatives, many world leaders do not consider an alleged global warming and CO2 emissions as the greatest existential threat to mankind, although recognizing the need to reduce pollution and to modernize industrial production.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, the first foreign leader to speak, did not announce any change in his government’s goals on carbon emissions or on the need to use coal and nuclear power, More importantly, he underlined the principle which marks the fundamental difference from the “Green philosophy” in the West, by placing the emphasis on increasing productivity through science. “To protect the environment is to protect productivity, and to improve the environment is to boost productivity – the truth is as simple as that”, he said. He also emphasized the “common but differentiated responsibilities” between the advanced sector and the developing sec tor, insisting that the concerns of the developing countries for economic growth must be accommodated.

Russian President Putin pointed out that Russia had reduced carbon emissions by half since the 1990s. Like China, Russia has a serious problem with real pollution, which it is resolving, with the side-effect of reducing carbon emissions. And like China, it intends to increase the use of nuclear power plants which “produce almost zero greenhouse gas emissions” and of coal fired plants. He closed by insisting on the need to fight poverty and close the gap between rich and poor.

Note that Xi and Putin both emphasized that climate policies, like all global issues, should be deliberated on in the framework of United Nations, which is in direct opposition to the unililateral “rules-based order” touted by Washington and Brussels and backed up by NATO.

From Latin America, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador made clear that Mexico would continue to develop and use its own hydrocarbon deposits, and reported that a vast reforestation program is now ongoing.

Of special interest was Gaston Browne, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, an island state that the climate lobby claims is about to disappear under rising sea levels. He barely mentioned climate, but focused on the financial disaster which, due to the pandemic, is hitting countries like his that depend on tourism. He demanded that the debt of nations like his must be forgiven or reorganized, since it cannot be repaid.

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