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Should Rich Countries Pay For Environmental Damage?

John M. Kadioli

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Should Rich Countries Pay For Environmental Damage?


            Rich countries are by far the biggest polluters of the environment. Their large industries, especially in the manufacturing sector, highly contribute to the highest percentage of carbon emissions(Shue, 1999). On the other hand, poorer countries, especially in Africa, contribute very little to the world’s environmental damage yet they are the ones who are severely affected by its impact. Due to their technical and monetary advantage, most of the rich countries have also exploited resources such as oil and minerals of the poorer nations without giving a second thought to the environmental rehabilitation of the affected areas.

            Even though they can be accused of doing the most damage to the environment, it can be noted that poorer nations also share the same blame. Most of the third world countries have bad environmental policies which do little to counter this mess. For example, some of these countries import vehicles that are past their usability, and this contributes heavily to high rates of traffic pollution that releases harmful carbon emissions to the environment. Plastic waste and uncontrolled industrial pollution seriously unchecked.  Also, many governments in of poor countries fail to establish a proper body that can deal with managing waste in their cities(Henry, Yongshen & Jun, 2006). This can be seen by the piles of garbage that are littered carelessly.

            Therefore, it is not the responsibility of the rich countries to pay for environmental damage whereas poorer nations commit the same malpractices. Thus, all countries should be fairly responsible in ensuring that environmental damage is remedied in all ways possible(Diesendorf, 2000). They should join hands and tackle this issue as everyone will be affected in the foreseeable future if our air and oceans continue to be polluted, threatening our sustainability and that of future generations.



Diesendorf, M. (2000). Sustainability and sustainable development. Sustainability:

The corporate challenge of the 21st century, 2, 19-37.


Shue, H. (1999). Global environment and international inequality.

International affairs, 75(3), 531-545.


Henry, R. K., Yongsheng, Z., & Jun, D. (2006). Municipal solid waste management challenges

  in developing countries–Kenyan case study. Waste management, 26(1), 92-100.



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