Five hundred years ago, average incomes in Europe, India and China were about the same. Then the Europeans got the jump on everybody else technologically, grew unimaginably rich and powerful, and conquered practically the whole world.
They also industrialized, and for two hundred years it was their industries, their cities, their vehicles that poured excess carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Now the rich countries are willing to curb their emissions — but they can easily afford to, because they are already rich and bound to remain so.
From The Telegraph (Calcutta)