Next week I will be attending a debate in Hong Kong titled “The west is full of hot air; Asia is saving the world from climate policy disaster.”
My knee-jerk reaction was that this would be a farcical debate, considering the widely-accepted notion that China is the world’s heaviest industrial polluter. I think however, that this is exactly the point. Perhaps having a front row seat to devastating climate change provides the proper perspective to develop meaningful, progressive policies on resource consumption and air quality.
Certainly in Canada, where water and energy resources are abundant we have some of the worst conservation practices in the industrialized world . Can we expect to rally support for practical environmental policies when the consequences of wasteful habits are hidden from our everyday routines? Conversely, if constant exposure to a damaged environment has become the standard for a country, to what extent can we put our faith in their policymaking?
Stay tuned for my next article where I hope to be able to answer these questions in more depth after processing the night’s debate.