28 January 2023
  • 9:34 pm U19 Women’s T20 World Cup: Shafali Verma’s India vs Grace Scrivens’ England in inaugural title clash
  • 9:34 pm Explainer: What is norovirus, the pathogen found in Kerala, and how dangerous is it?
  • 9:33 pm Women’s Premier League: Mithali Raj named mentor for Ahmedabad’s franchise Gujarat Giants
  • 9:19 pm India imports discounted sunflower oil from Russia, Ukraine
  • 9:18 pm PM lashes out Imran for accusing Zardari of hatching assassination plot
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While fossil fuels were powering wealthy nations’ economic growth in the 19th and 20th centuries, many countries across the Global South remained largely impoverished.

Today, all that burning of oil, coal and natural gas has warmed the planet toward dangerous levels, and science shows that fossil fuel use must decline to slow climate change. At the same time, more than 40% of the global population survives on less than $5.50 a day, primarily in developing countries.

Fossil fuels are still among the cheapest ways to power economic growth, making them hard for developing countries to ignore.

So, can we find a way to lift nearly half of the world out of poverty and still reduce fossil fuel use? As an environmental social scientist, I believe there can be no sustainable development, and likely no energy transition, if poverty is not addressed too. Current international efforts, like the chronically underfunded United Nations Green Climate Fund, whose board meets this week, are not doing enough.

Shadows of colonialism

The fact that nearly half the world’s population is still struggling to escape poverty while the thermometer’s mercury hurtles upward is not a coincidence.

Since the Age of Discovery, when European explorers began expanding trade and claiming colonies in the 1400s, problems of resource scarcity have been managed through colonial conquest and economic integration. These approaches impoverished Global South nations, robbing them of their…

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Abdul Gh Lone