I found this sentence while reading today's The Times of India. Here is the link for the complete article.

Although India will continue to insist that the global climate deal should have the principles of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and Kyoto Protocol that call for only rich nations to cut emissions while demanding money for poor countries to take voluntary action, it may now start questioning the idea of keeping the world's highest carbon emitter China in the same league as the other developing countries.

I can't understand the bold part of the quoted sentence. Does it mean that the poorer countries will not have to cut emission simply, they will be charged money so that they voluntarily take measure on emission?

Thanking you in advance.


2 Answers 2


It means that the protocol would demand money from others to give to poor countries. The poor countries can then use this money to take action or to not take action. How they use the money is voluntary. They would like the poor countries to use this money to cut emissions somehow, but it is not required of them.

  • I don't agree about the use of "voluntary".
    – Jason S
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 14:19
  • No reasonable country would give money to another country with the intent but not the requirement to use for emissions reductions. Either it's general aid with no strings attached, or it's targeted aid with strings attached.
    – Jason S
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 14:26
  • @JasonS Yea. But it's politics.. so anything goes. I remember hearing somewhere, that some people think the ultimate purpose of this plan is not about emission reduction, but wealth transfer from rich countries to poor countries. You can never really be sure when politics is involved.
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 1:00

It means that the documents in question call for two cases:

  • Rich countries must cut emissions (required)
  • Poor countries should cut emissions (voluntary, not required)

In addition, India is demanding money to help those poor countries take action. The poor countries would have to take initiative to cut emissions, but they need financial help to do so.

Money is often necessary to solve problems, but it is rarely sufficient. Someone needs to take initiative and organize the logistics.

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