White Collar Invasion

White Collar Invasion

White Collar Invasion: developed country policies leading to environmental degradation in developing countries.

-Vikas Nath
Inlaks Fellow, London School of Economics

Interdependence among nations has been on the rise since the last century and is rapidly increasing in this era of globalization and liberalization of economies. The trans-country flows are in all areas including financial capital, human resources, tradable commodities, environmental resources and services, and intellectual property. This international interdependence has contributed to significantly improved standards of living in most countries. Yet, these improved standards of living have not come without a cost.

Huge environmental debts have been incurred by nations to provide for improvements in their domestic livelihood conditions. These environmental debts are not necessarily, been paid back by the debtor countries. The debts are often passed on to other countries or left for the future generations to pay leading to inter-country and inter-generational environmental debts. Other environmental debts may be simply unserviceable as the capital to repay back has been lost forever and facing environmental oppression may be the only option open for some nations.

This paper delves into the dimension of environmental debt-transfer to understand whether developed countries have led to environmental unsustainability in the developing countries.
Decades of industrial growth and manufacturing-oriented economies of the west have had their impact felt on the environment. The acid rains over Europe, and the increase in radioactive radiation over the northern hemisphere due to the ozone hole are some of the indicators of mankind's ignorance about the limits to growth and the impact unrestrained macro-level economic activities can have on the environment. As the impact of environment degradation started to be felt by the civil society in the west through pesticides in food products, pollution...

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