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Global Warming

Foreign Aid for Limiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions

If the developing countries are willing to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, an overwhelming majority would support providing technology and training to help them.

In an April 1998 PIPA poll, respondents were asked, "If the less-developed countries are willing to limit their emissions, do you think the developed countries should provide the technology and training necessary to help them make their industries less polluting?" A nearly unanimous 90% said that the developed countries should provide this technology and training (7% said "should not"). [1]

Even when placed in the context of foreign aid, assistance for environmental purposes does well. In PIPA' s January 1995 poll, respondents were asked their views on ten different categories within the US foreign aid budget and told how much money went to each. For "environmental aid to poor countries to help them preserve their environment and to reduce pollution, especially pollution that may contribute to global warming," 79% wanted to either maintain (41%) or increase (38%) spending. Only 20% wanted to cut it. Environmental aid was the fourth most popular form of foreign aid -- after child survival programs, the Peace Corps and humanitarian relief. [2]

More recently, a clear majority favored the idea of using debt relief to developing nations to finance environmental measures by those countries. In response to a December 2001 Greenberg /Public Opinion Strategies poll on ways to target U.S. aid dollars, 55% supported "reducing developing nations' debts to the United States in return for actions to protect the environment." Under a third (29%) opposed this idea. [3]