This paper aims to show that the measures currently being taken to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels are directly harming the poor, both in the developing and in the developed world.
Energy sources that are not based on fossil fuels make power and food – both of vital importance for the poor – more expensive and more difficult to obtain. The world is being urged to go much faster than necessary to combat the exhaustion of fossil fuels. The environment may be preserved by many actions without placing prime emphasis on the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. In the long term the human race may have to replace fossil fuels as an energy source, but not at present.
The changes imposed thus far have not dealt with the risks of climate change through a sensible, steady and sustained improvement in energy and other technologies and have therefore failed to address the problems of the here and now, of which the abject poverty of large numbers of people is perhaps the most pressing. In this, the consequences of the Kyoto Protocol have been immoral.