Worldwatch Institute 1111

system of unequal exchange and income inequality between core, semiperipheral and peripheral countries. Peripheral countries extract raw materials and ship them largely unprocessed to the semiperiph-eral and core countries for processing. The finished goods are then shipped back to the peripheral countries at much higher prices. This system of unequal exchange is perpetuated by protectionist international trade agreements; copyright and patent laws, which limit the diffusion of processing technology to the periphery; the role of multinational corporations, which repatriate profits to the core that were earned by extracting resources in the periphery; and the role of wealthy local elites in poor countries, who benefit from the status quo relationships between the core and periphery.

The creation and perpetuation of global economic and political inequality has direct implications for understanding the effects of global climate change. As noted above, countries in the periphery are far more reliant on agriculture than are countries in the core. Countries in the core are much more invested in manufacturing. As a consequence, they produce disproportionately large amounts of greenhouse gases. That means that there is a geographic separation between the largest producers of greenhouse gases and the regions that will suffer the most harm from global warming. In short, climate changes will have a disproportionately negative impact on the economies and communities in the periphery. The fact that countries at the periphery have the fewest resources to adapt to climate change makes matters even worse. WST is a useful counterbalance to traditional neoclassical discussions of market-based solutions to greenhouse gas reductions because it brings a geopolitical perspective to our understanding of climate change.

SEE ALSO: Developing Countries; Economics, Cost of Affecting Climate Change.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Andre Gunder Frank, Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America (Monthly Review Press, 1967); Karen O'Brien and Robin M. Leichenko, "Winners and Losers in the Context of Global Change," Annals of the Association of American Geographers (v.93/1); James Rice, "Ecological Unequal Exchange: Consumption, Equity, and Unsustainable Structural Relationships Within the Global

Economy," International Journal of Comparative Sociology (v48/1, 2007); Timmons Roberts, "Global Inequality and Climate Change," Society and Natural Resources (v.14/6, 2001); Walter Rostow, The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (Cambridge University Press, 1960); Immanuel Wallerstein, The Capitalist World-Economy (Cambridge University Press, 1979).

Christopher D. Merrett Western Illinois University

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Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable.

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