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Argument: Developed/developing have common but differentiated responsibilities

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The Rio Declaration from The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development states - "In view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command."[1]


"The Principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities: Origins and Scope". The World Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002 - States have common responsibilities to protect the environment and promote sustainable development, but due to different social, economic, and ecological situations, countries must shoulder different responsibilities. The principle therefore provides for asymmetrical rights and obligations regarding environmental standards, and aims to induce broad State acceptance of treaty obligations, while avoiding the type of problems typically associated with a lowest common denominator approach. The principle also reflects the core elements of equity, placing more responsibility on wealthier countries and those more responsible for causing specific global problems. Perhaps more importantly, the principle also presents a conceptual framework for compromise and co-operation in effectively meeting environmental challenges.

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