December 1, 2022

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In a reversal, the US has approved climate payments for poor countries

In a reversal, the US has approved climate payments for poor countries

The United States and the European Union are pushing for assurances that China will contribute to any fund that is set up — and that the country will not be eligible to receive money from it. The United Nations currently classifies China as a “developing country,” making it eligible for climate compensation, even though it is now the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the world’s second largest economy. China has fiercely resisted being treated as a frontrunner in the global climate talks.

Nor is there a guarantee that rich countries will deposit money into the fund. A decade ago, the United States, the European Union, and other wealthy people pledged to mobilize $100 billion annually in climate finance by 2020 to help poor countries transition to clean energy and adapt to future climate risks through measures such as building seawalls. that they still fall short tens of billions of dollars annually.

While US diplomats may approve a fund, the funds must be appropriated by Congress. Last year, the Biden administration sought $2.5 billion in climate funding but only got $1 billion, and that was when Democrats controlled both chambers. With Republicans poised to take over the House in January, the prospects of Congress approving an entirely new fund for losses and damages look bleak.

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For their part, many European countries voluntarily pledged More than 300 million dollars to address loss and damage, with most of that money going toward a new insurance program to help countries recover from disasters such as floods. Poor countries have applauded these early efforts while noting that they are only a fraction of what is needed.

“It is worth noting that we have the fund but we need the money to make it worthwhile,” said Mohamed Addo, executive director of Power Shift Africa, a group that aims to galvanize climate action across the continent. “What we have is an empty bucket. Now we need to fill it so that support can flow to the people most affected and suffering right now by the climate crisis.”

There was a raging dispute over what might be called a new fund. Developing countries see them as offsets and climate activists refer to them as offsets. But US diplomats were adamant that the money should be called “loss and damage resources.”

For the United States, this year’s climate summit, Known as COP27It was a rude awakening. President Biden and his climate envoy, John Kerry, have arrived in Egypt to promote landmark new legislation that will invest $370 billion in clean energy and help America deeply cut emissions. Mr. Biden told the assembled ministers and diplomats that the United States He wanted to lead the world In the transition away from fossil fuels and toward a future in which global warming is constrained to relatively safe levels.