How can a country go green?
I like to think of developing countries in the same relative oppression as minorities. They must be economically dependent on the whims of developed countries; and are often not given the same advantage in the “green” industry as developed countries. Fighting for sustainability is like fighting for civil rights — the earth’s rights.
Under this assumption, it can be extremely difficult for developing countries to take on the go-green initiative. Firstly, most of the successful green industry in operated/ran in developed countries like the U.S., China, and Japan. That means they will have to either start their own industry in their country (which might not be economically feasible) or they are forced to import products and services (which can give the developing countries the opportunity to be taken advantage of in trade deals and expenses).
Secondly, Developing countries and places like Bangladesh need the products available en mass to the consumer basis. However green products are largely still too expensive for the developed world’s consumer, and the consumers in developing countries are largely well under the poverty level.
Thirdly, it is a challenge in itself to try to keep up with the advancements of the rest of the world and uphold the green responsibility. Such as with India, that feels much pressure from UN nations to cut back on emissions despite the fact that when the developed nations underwent their industrial revolution no one told them to stop.
Especially since developing countries are almost all entirely made up minority populations, their voices can be silenced all the easier by the white corporate counterparts. I think that one large reason that Europe in general has made great strides towards sustainability is because of the Caucasian population.
What we can do to make these developing countries catch onto to sustainability is encourage and fund kick-starters and local initiatives to bring green products to these places. One of my favorite kick-starter’s I’ve seen is a reinvention of the plastic bag so that it is biodegradable came from a man in Laos. His invention is as inexpensive as .04 cents to the bag (if my memory serves me right, unfortunately I was unable to find the original price). The point is, as with the man who invented the machine to cheaply bring period products to impoverished women in India, is that the consumers of the developed nations can make difference across the world through these initiatives. Of course, we still need to continue to lobby and protest for free trade and company transparency, and boycott products that are made via unsustainable means — do our part. But it is just as important to uplift the developing countries own efforts to do their part.