Poor nations want rich to pay
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 forth- coming 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.