Curbing global warming – an alternative to aid?

Joining forces to combat global warming and save the environment instead of giving traditional aid. Good idea, isn’t it? And that’s exactly what the Swedish government is doing in India and China. Not that I understand why two economic powerhouses are getting aid from EU countries mired in deep recession? But regardless of that, the Swedish initiative to work together to improve the environment is laudable.

Swedish "wind power" know-how will benefit China and India
Swedish "wind power" know-how will benefit China and India

Obviously, like all traditional aid, it will benefit Swedish companies. But when it comes to environmental techniques, clean tech, wind power – actually the environmental and climate sector in general – Sweden has a multitude of innovative and pioneering world class companies. So Swedish know-how and techniques in this area will definitely benefit China and India, which is far from always the case when it comes to traditional aid from the West.

Both China and India are key when it comes to curbing global warming and, not to forget, cleaning up the environment. India’s current growth has generated affluence but also damaged the environment. So much so that after the US and China it’s the worst polluter in the world.

Sweden and China are already successfully cooperating on environmental and climate issues aiming to combat global warming and improve the environment. Joint projects in such areas are taking place on a continuous basis.

Replacing traditional aid with joint cooperation on improving the environment will actually kill two birds with one stone because by both benefitting poor people in India and China and contributing to saving the planet.

It is hence my hope that Sweden will influence other Western countries to follow suit when 170 governments meet at The Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December. If so, that should make a positive contribution towards signing the “Copenhagen Protocol” to prevent global warming and climate changes. The Kyoto Protocol runs out in 2012 and the conference in Copenhagen will be the last one on governmental level before that. Consequently progress is crucial because I’m not sure progress in other areas will compensate for letting global warming and environmental issues ruin our planet?

5 thoughts on “Curbing global warming – an alternative to aid?

  1. I agree that aid needs to be more beneficial for the people. Traditional aid has become so diluted on its path from donor to target recipient that often no more than 5 or 10% of the amount reaches the target. The rest ends up in the pockets of individuals – much going to the political elite of the recipient country.

    There is no question that if we do not take urgent measures to stop the abuse of our climate, the results will be catastrophic and make the current recession look like a mere blip. Developing countries need to stop the refrain of "we're developing so should be allowed to pollute" and accept the help of the developed countries to reform with open arms. After all, if they can leap-frog in other ways (such as the way that mobile phones have caught on in Africa, with communites bypassing the traditional land-line step on their communciations path), they can do so when it comes to pollution.

    By diverting aid to focus on climate control in these countries, the whole world will benefit and, hopefully, less money will be diverted en route – but perhaps that's why politicians are objecting.

  2. I’ve been into environmentalism for 20 some odd years now. I’ve always wanted to find a way to reduce our usage of the electrical grid, which I’ve done to some extent with a few solar panels, but I can’t really afford anything that would power the whole home. I’ve been looking into building a cheap magnetic generator (here is one example I found, but I’ve been wondering how hard it would be. Have you had any experice with this or others?

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