Con­trol­ling emis­sions world­wide

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

The “grim” part of “Planet Earth’s grim check-up” [ed­i­to­rial, July 22] is the not yet fated fu­ture. De­vel­oped na­tions have em­braced poli­cies to hold the tem­per­a­ture rise to 3.6 de­grees Fahren­heit and have be­gun ac­tions man­dated by this limit. But un­de­vel­oped na­tions do not have the tech­nol­ogy, re­sources or, in some cases, the will to give up cheap and avail­able fos­sil fu­els.

To bring un­de­vel­oped na­tions on board with the ef­fort to con­trol green­house gas emis­sions, it may be nec­es­sary for de­vel­oped na­tions to pro­vide in­cen­tives. This could take the form of an in­ter­na­tional agree­ment for de­vel­oped na­tions to jointly fund aid to un­de­vel­oped ones, sim­i­lar to the Mar­shall Plan af­ter World War II, for the re­con­struc­tion of Europe. If such sup­port is gen­er­ous enough that clean-energy sys­tems are made cheaper than those from fos­sil fu­els, the whole world can move to­gether to hold fu­ture global warm­ing to a tol­er­a­ble level. Such a plan would be fair, ef­fi­cient and nec­es­sary if the world is to es­cape an over­heated fu­ture.

Don­ald McPher­son and Robert Squire, Ashburn

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