The Washington Post recently featured this map which shows how countries across the world fare in terms of vulnerability when it comes to climate change. It’s not entirely a surprise, but what really struck me was that the countries most vulnerable are also some of the ones least responsible for the emissions causing global warming.
Which brings up an issue that has been discussed many times before: should developed countries be helping developing countries to prepare for, adapt to, and protect themselves from climate change?
The issue was brought to the forefront in the fall of 2013 when Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines. It hit just before that year’s UN Climate Summit, and Philippines delegate Naderev “Yeb” Sano made an impassioned and emotional plea for action. As part of that, he called on rich countries to compensate poorer countries affected by climate disasters for “loss and damage.”
At SOFI, we’ve frequently discussed how the technologies we’re trying to commercialize could be deployed in developing countries, or in emergency situations like Typhoon Haiyan. We hope one day to see portable, modular solar fuels devices powering small remote villages, or providing fuel for organizations like the Red Cross in emergency situations.
It’s not clear what the best policy is to make sure all countries are prepared for what climate change may bring. But we’d like to make sure all countries, regardless of GDP, have clean energy solutions that can serve them even in an unpredictable future.
What is clear to us is that, as climate change brings more drought, floods and natural disasters, we all need to be watching out for one another.