Developing nations have the opportunity to mitigate global warming and contribute toward a low-carbon world by tapping into the knowledge acquired and made available by developed countries.

The environmental, economic, and social challenges of climate change are now of such importance that the fight requires the involvement of the whole world.

Historically, industrialized countries caused the most damage to the world’s environment through intense anthropogenic activities, but the situation has been changing.

China, the U.S., and the European Union are the three biggest polluters, responsible for 23, 13, and 9 percent of all carbon emissions.

However, if we look at numbers from a different angle, we find that developing countries, if counted as one block, are responsible for a whopping 63 percent of emissions.

While the obligation to cut greenhouse gas emissions rests primarily on developed countries, those in the process of increasing their industrial capacities can’t afford to sit out the climate fight.

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Share Climate Knowledge, Share the World

The efforts to curb climate change can no longer take a back seat to socio-economic needs in poor and middle-income countries. The impact that climate change can and is bringing to every nation is forcing every country to come to terms with their greenhouse gas emission rates.

Developing countries have the unique opportunity to learn from the mistakes and build on the expertise of developed countries in adapting to and combating climate change

Part of the responsibility that falls on developed countries is to help developing ones make an orderly transition to a low carbon economy and reduce the world’s overall carbon footprint.

One of the ambitious initiatives in this regard is the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN).

Adopted in 2010, CDKN is now a £120 million program led by the not-for-profit institution SouthSouthNorth (SSN) and brings together several actors and donors.

Eight years of climate action translated into 1,100 projects across over 74 countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.

Through diverse projects with different partners, CDKN aims to support developing countries in their efforts to achieve climate-compatible development.

The first phase of the CDKN (2010-2018) has ended, and now the program looks forward to its next phase.

On June 21, the official launch of CDKN’s second phase was announced.

The new two-year phase (2018-2020) is to be financially backed with $9.2 million from the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the Royal Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Shehnaaz Moosa, CDKN Director, sums up the new objectives of the foundation:  

“Climate-vulnerable countries are eager to access and apply knowledge about ‘what works’ in climate-compatible development; the challenge is how to navigate the great amount of climate-related information and analysis to find what is most useful, and adapt and tailor it for their countries’ needs. That is exactly the challenge that CDKN’s new initiative aims to address.”

Being the most vulnerable to climate change, poor countries can benefit from all the scientific literature, funds, and support they can get.

Through such initiatives, not only would these countries unlock the potential of climate-friendly economic growth, the world as a whole would see its climate woes subside considerably.

As developed countries struggle to meet carbon emissions targets themselves, would cooperative programs like this have any palpable effects?

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