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Carbon capping won't help Third World countries

Paul Hopkins' article (December 7) correctly analyses many of the problems facing the poor in Africa. However, he is sadly mistaken in linking improvement in the condition of Africa's poor with reduction of so-called 'carbon emissions' by the nations of the world - rich and developed or otherwise.

The outcome of the Copenhagen climate summit which Mr Hopkins apparently wants to see, where reductions in emissions and trading are agreed, is totally at odds with the needs of the poor of Africa or any of the other developing regions of the world.

A binding global carbon capping and trading scheme would devastate the economies of the developed world with resulting massive increases in poverty and unemployment. The little recession we are just coming out of would be chicken feed in comparison. This economic collapse would bring world trade to a near standstill. The United Kingdom would be one of the nations which would fall hardest with its looming energy crises during the incoming decade.

Sensible nations, which had eschewed carbon capping and to where the newly prosperous carbon trading businesses would quickly relocate, would continue to trade with each other, but there would be few trading opportunities with either the failing developed nations or with nations, such as most in Africa, whose recent development opportunities had been brutally terminated.

The saddest aspect of this sorry state of affairs would be that it was totally unnecessary.

All human inhabitants of the planet, whether rich or poor, should fervently hope that the Copenhagen summit remains no more than a talking shop.




From Belfast Telegraph