Essay on “Should Rich Countries Pay More For Environmental Damage?”

In the last decade, this question has gained more attention as people become aware of the problems that environmental damage is causing all around the world. The extent and range of the damage is debated among scientists as well as other groups and organizations with different studies to support various theories. However, according to reports in the media, the largest environmental impact by far is from climate change, where global warming is the number one issue discussed. An increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere leads to extreme weather phenomena such as severe storms. This may result in prolonged droughts or flooding that can increase spread of infectious diseases. Furthermore, this type of environmental damage spreads widely thereby impacting not only polluting countries but also the rest of the world.

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Historically, humans have always lived from what nature provides, but in today’s modern world resources from our planet are not regenerated as fast as they are consumed. In order to measure human impact on nature, a so-called “ecological footprint” measure was developed. Not surprisingly, this footprint is a lot larger for those living in richer countries whereas in poorer nations the average person does not affect the environment to the same extent. Therefore, the idea that high-income nations with a large “ecological footprint” should contribute economically in order to prevent the footprint from growing further has been discussed. However, no standard solution for such a financial system or fee structure has been established. Also, today a lot of the emerging environmental problems are originating not only from rich countries but also from poorer nations with developing industry. One issue is that these countries still do not have the economic stability to invest in environmentally friendly production. Maybe financial support from countries in the rich part of the world could help not only developing countries but the whole world in the battle against environmental damage, in the end leading to a greener future.

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