Only after basic needs are met will people care about their environment.
I once heard a story about two men lost in the woods in winter. As night fell and their situation became more dire, one man found some wood and built a large fire to warm them through the night. The other man complained that they were damaging the environment and polluting the air with smoke while releasing lots of excess carbon into the atmosphere. The first man responded that their need to survive outweighed their environmental concerns. The next day they were rescued thanks to the visible plume of smoke and fire their rescurers followed.
On a global scale, the same principles hold true. Wealthy nations, that aren’t as concerned about day-to-day survival, have the luxury of being able to be better stewards of their surroundings. Poor nations tend not to. A quick glance around the globe will confirm this. Witness the pollution and mess left behind in many parts of eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. Witness the poor and unsanitary conditions found through much of Mexico or southeast Asia.