Reflection on the 2014 Climate Change Summit "One of the great challenges of our time is that the disparities we face today have more complex causes and point less straightforwardly to solutions." This quote by Omar Wasow was in the context of racial disparity that continues to challenge the social fabric of the United States of America. While racial disparity in the US is a realistic concern, there are many more such issues playing out on the global stage. There are growing political, social and economic disparities that continue to bedevil us. One such issue of concern has been that of climate change, where in the developed and the developing world seem to strike only discordant notes. Recent events at the Climate Change Summit at New York in August 14 only reinforces that belief. While there is near unanimity in the view that economic progress has been at a tremendous cost of the environment, when the time has come to rectify this damage, there seems to a disconcerting lack of consensus amongst countries. The Kyoto Protocol in 1992 tried, unsuccessfully, to cap emissions. The goals set by it were largely abandoned. This lack of progress is symptomatic of the rich versus the poor divide. Countries like India and China believe that they shouldn’t be asked to pay the price for a problem that they didn’t create, whereas developed nations think otherwise. According to World Bank data of 2010, the US emits a whopping 17.6 metric tons of CO2 per capita, followed by Australia at 16.9 and Canada at 14.7, in comparison to China and India, where the figures stand at 6.2 and 1.7 respectively. Does it not become incumbent upon the developed nations to lead the world in embracing green technologies? Developed economies worry about the cost of these technologies and the consequent loss of economic competitiveness it would bring. But in my view, it is a myopic approach. After all, the future of this world cannot be sacrificed at the altar of profit. I think the major economies should follow the example of Germany, where the accent on sustainable development has galvanized an entire nation. They did not wait for any protocols or agreements, but took their own initiative to be responsible citizens of this world. Such magnanimity and leadership needs to be shown by the United States. The world looks at the US for leadership, be it in the fight against terrorism or Ebola. So how can it be indifferent to the effects of climate change? Surely, a country which gives billions of dollars in armament aid to allies around the world can afford to spend some of it on a more important issue with global ramifications. I am sure if the US takes the lead, even developing countries will willingly support in this universal cause. Already, the leadership, and more importantly the general population, in countries like China and India are quite seized of these issues. If the US and other developed countries, who are custodians of much of these green technologies, were to provide a helping hand, the poorer countries would willingly embrace this common cause. The US needs to only recall its contribution to the post-war reconstruction of Europe, and how it changed the destinies of so many countries. Perhaps the time has come for it to rekindle that spirit, only this time it will find that its contribution would be gratefully acknowledged by the entire world.