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Friday, February 3, 2023

Former UK PM Says China Must Pay into Climate Fund for Developing Nations

Former prime minister added that US and Europe will pay biggest share of loss and damage fund

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UNITED KINGDOM: According to former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, China must contribute to a new fund for developing nations affected by climate-related disasters because of its enormous greenhouse gas emissions and significant economy.

Rich states finally agreed to establish a fund for developing nations experiencing “loss and damage” from extreme weather conditions last week at the Cop27 UN climate summit

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However, there still needs to be a consensus on replenishing that fund, and it will probably be the focus of acrimonious debate this year.

Brown said that rather than depending on a “begging bowl,” wealthy nations should be required to make payments to developing nations based on their historical greenhouse gas emissions.

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At Cop27, the status of China, the world’s largest emitter and the nation responsible for the most cumulative emissions outside of the United States and other nations categorized as developing under the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, came under scrutiny.

Even though many nations today have high GDPs and greenhouse gas emissions, the 1992 standards still consider China and comparable nations like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Russia as beneficiaries rather than donors of any funds.

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According to Brown, these payments must be given immediately since the effects of extreme weather are “dramatically escalating” in impoverished countries. They must also be made using a “burden-sharing mechanism” that includes donations from formerly developing nations like China.

Brown’s efforts on development for the developing world over the past ten years have received praise on a global scale, but many people will find this forceful intervention in the discussion of climate finance objectionable. 

At Cop27, disputes over “loss and damage,” or how wealthy nations should contribute to the rescue and restoration of underdeveloped areas, raged for two weeks.

For the first time in 30 years of climate talks, the governments of the US, EU, UK, and other rich countries only agreed in the final hours to the creation of a loss and damage fund. However, there still needs to be a consensus on how the fund will be stocked and by which nations.

Lord Stern, a climate economist, and Vera Songwe, a colleague at the London School of Economics, conducted research that was presented at Cop27 and found that by 2030, it would take about £2 trillion per year to shift the economies of developing nations (aside from China) to a low-carbon foundation, assist them in coping with the effects of extreme weather, and pay for the damage they sustain.

Although these sums seem substantial, Stern argues that they are “not scary” because most of the funding will come from the countries themselves and a small portion from private sources and because the total represents only about 5% more than would otherwise be invested over the same time in a high-carbon economy.

Also Read: UN Adopts ‘Loss and Damage’ Climate Fund in Historic Move at COP27

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