People should get hurt By climate change compensated?
From hurricanes and floods to heat waves and droughts, research has shown that many disasters are already exacerbated, or more likely to occur, by climate change. Slow-onset climate events such as sea-level rise, ocean acidification, loss of farmland or retreat of glaciers are already occurring – with sea level rise now in the region of 3 to 4 mm per year.
All countries will be affected by climate change, but some of the most affected have done little to cause it in the first place. It is often these countries that lack the resources to deal with these disasters.
The imbalance has been acknowledged by leaders of developed countries and historical polluters, who have put in place mechanisms to transfer financial support to developing countries to help them reduce emissions and adapt to the consequences of climate change.
But supporting another cause, known as “loss and damage,” has long been a politically charged topic, and so far has little support. The term refers to the consequences of climate change that can no longer be adapted to, explains Chikondi Chabvuta, advocacy advisor for the South Africa region at the nonprofit CARE. “It’s really about reparations and climate justice,” she says. It is these damages occurring within the countries of the Global South that exhaust their ability to adapt and absorb shocks. In the end, they are left with lost communities, lost livelihoods, lost lives, and cannot be put into the adaptation program.”
The issue of financing loss and damage exploded at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow last month, where Developing countries that represent the vast majority of the world’s population He supported the creation of a financial mechanism for it, but it ultimately failed. A “technical assistance” support network has been set up to deal with loss and damage, but rich countries like the United States have been very resistant to putting money on the table to actually help countries recover from climate disasters.
“Currently, the UN system has agreed to direct funding from richer countries to lower income countries so that those countries can move to greener paths, and become more resilient to future impacts,” Theresa Anderson, climate policy campaigner At ActionAid, tell me during COP26. “But if you are devastated by a climate catastrophe, and you have to pick up the pieces and rebuild and recover, you are on your own.”
Speaking last month at a press conference marking the close of COP 26, John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, said his country was still “always thinking about the issue of responsibility.” He added, “What do we think that, in the next few years, we have to work through what all of this is going on? How much money is required for what? What is the legitimacy of that?”