December 4, 2022

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Should rich countries pay for climate damage in developing countries?  |  Currently

Should rich countries pay for climate damage in developing countries? | Currently

Developing countries emit relatively few greenhouse gases, and therefore contribute little to global warming. But climate change often hits these countries hard, causing massive damage. Should rich countries pay compensation for climate damage? This will be a difficult point in the climate summit to be held in Egypt next month.

The massive floods that hit Pakistan last summer killed more than 1,600 people. The economic damage is likely to reach tens of billions of euros. According to scientists, climate change is having a catastrophic effect exacerbatePakistan can expect more severe floods in the future.

Pakistan is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, even though the country itself emits few greenhouse gases. Therefore, Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rehman believes that rich countries should contribute to repairing this damage, which has largely caused their emissions. “There is a need for more money being paid by coughing,” she said. time.

This call is not new. Developing countries have always wanted rich countries to contribute to the payment loss and damage, as climate damage is called in the language of the United Nations. But the European Union and the United States do not want to start there yet.

The promise of $100 billion has yet to be fulfilled

For a long time, international climate negotiations have been all about preventing climate change. At the beginning of this century, it became clear that we cannot stop global warming completely, and therefore we must adapt.

In 2009, at the Copenhagen Climate Summit, rich nations pledged $100 billion annually in climate support for developing nations. More than ten years later, this amount has not yet been settled. The climate aid that is being provided only goes to things like solar panels and dams. There is no structural funding available to remedy the damage that climate change has already caused.

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It is now increasingly clear that some climate damage can no longer be prevented. “We live in a time of consequences of climate change,” says Martin van Aalst, director of the Red Cross Climate Center and professor of climate and disasters at the University of Twente. “In it, those who contributed the least amount of swipes.”

Climate summit ‘failed’ if climate damage is not on the agenda

In recent years, climate damage has moved higher and higher on the international climate agenda. At the previous climate summit in Glasgow, countries agreed to “enter into a dialogue” in the coming years about the financing needed to prevent, mitigate and remedy climate damage. Work is also underway to establish an institute that can provide “technical assistance” after disasters.

The result has been disappointing for the developing countries, because they want the rich countries to pledge the money as quickly as possible. But there seems to be some movement slowly in developed countries. At the COP 27 climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh, which begins on November 6, climate damage is likely to be one of the main topics of discussion.

But then, all countries must first agree that it will already be on the agenda, as well as the host country Egypt do you like to. “If it is banned by one or more countries, COP27 will be seen as a failure before it starts,” Bangladesh climate expert Saleem Ul-Haq said. carbon letter. “Then we can go home right away.”

EU ministers are hesitant

European finance ministers decided this week efforts Climate Summit. In it they say they want to continue the dialogue about climate damage, but nothing is said about the creation of the damage fund. “This is not surprising,” says Professor Van Aalst. “But it’s an improvement over the past few years, when there was no talk of climate damage.”

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According to him, developed countries fear that they will bear legal responsibility for climate damage on the other side of the world. Rich countries fear this law will spiral out of control.

Van Aalst hopes that international talks will improve resilience in developing countries, so that climate disasters cause less damage. “This can be done in part by better anticipating hits, for example early warningsystems. And partly by making sure that aid is available globally after such a disaster, and to reach the people and places that need it most.”

Few countries and regions are now willing to pay the price for climate damage. Last year, Denmark, Scotland and Wallonia said they wanted to put money aside. The Sharm el-Sheikh summit next month should show whether other countries want to follow suit.