Poor na­tions want rich to pay

Northumberland Today - - WORLD NEWS - FRANK JORDANS

BONN, Ger­many — As a new re­port showed the world back­slid­ing on curb­ing car­bon emis­sions, ob­servers at global cli­mate talks said Mon­day it might fall to min­is­ters to break a dead­lock over is­sues such as com­pen­sa­tion for coun­tries hard­est-hit by global warm­ing.

The talks in Bonn, Ger­many, now in their sec­ond week, are in­tended to ham­mer out some of the nit­tygritty de­tails for im­ple­ment­ing the 2015 Paris cli­mate ac­cord. Par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries agreed to keep global warm­ing sig­nif­i­cantly be­low 2 C.

Key top­ics in­clude how to mea­sure in­di­vid­ual coun­tries’ ef­forts, tak­ing stock of what has been achieved so far and set­ting new emis­sions re­duc­tion tar­gets needed to reach the Paris goal. But de­vel­op­ing coun­tries also want rich na­tions to pay for some of the dev­as­tat­ing im­pacts cli­mate change in­evitably is go­ing to have.

For­mal de­ci­sions on most is­sues won’t be taken un­til next year’s meet­ing in Poland, but few want to leave progress un­til the last minute.

“With­out that sup­port forth­com­ing from the de­vel­oped coun­tries, there’s go­ing to be some real fire­works at the end of this week,” said Alden Meyer, strat­egy and pol­icy di­rec­tor for the Union of Con­cerned Sci­en­tists, an ad­vo­cacy group in Washington.

Poor na­tions see the is­sue of fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion, known in UN par­lance as “loss and dam­age,” as a mat­ter of fair­ness. They ar­gue that ris­ing sea lev­els and more ex­treme weather will hit them dis­pro­por­tion­ately hard even though they have con­trib­uted only a frac­tion of the car­bon emis­sions blamed for global warm­ing.

Rich coun­tries counter that they are al­ready pay­ing bil­lions of dol­lars to help de­vel­op­ing na­tions re­duce emis­sions — such as by switch­ing to re­new­able en­ergy — and to adapt to cli­mate change.

Much of the fo­cus at the Nov. 6-17 meet­ing is on the U.S., fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s an­nounce­ment that he would pull out of the Paris ac­cord un­less he can get a bet­ter deal for Amer­i­cans.

Sci­en­tists say new fig­ures show global car­bon emis­sions will reach a record high in 2017, dash­ing hopes that lev­els of the heat­trap­ping gas might have plateaued fol­low­ing three con­sec­u­tive years when they didn’t go up at all.


Steam rises from the Nieder­aussem coal-fired power plant near Bergheim, Ger­many. Talks on the Paris cli­mate ac­cord are tak­ing place in Bonn, about 60 km from the Nieder­aussem plant.

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