European Union Energy Initiative (EUEI)

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Climate change and energy development: implications for developing countries

The burning of fossil fuels emits greenhouse gases (GHGs), especially CO2, possibly causing climate change. Environmentally friendly energy development has enormous implications for developing countries as major emitters due to their rapid economic and population growth. This paper presents an overview of developing countries in their efforts to reduce GHG emissions by reforming energy pricing, promoting energy efficiency, and using renewable energy sources. Then the paper focuses on the challenges facing developing countries, such as contradictory objectives, unrealistic emission standards and rigid incentives, and public environmental unawareness. With some possible options, the paper concludes that the reduction of emissions can only be achieved when policies are supportive and well targeted, standards and incentives are realistic and flexible, and the public is actively responsive to environmental degradation.

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Cesar Carmona
13 October 2009

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