US would not pay climate reparations “under any circumstances”
Some countries want major economies to pay for past emissions. A fund has been established to support the vulnerable nations, but it remains unclear how much richer countries – which produce the most greenhouse gases – will pay.
When asked on Thursday whether the US would compensate countries damaged by storms, floods and other climate-driven disasters, climate envoy John Kerry said: “No, under no circumstances.” His remarks at a Congress hearing came days before flying to China to discuss the issue.
The former secretary of state’s planned Beijing trip included discussions with officials over climate change, including plans for the upcoming UN climate conference, COP28, in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, in November.
More than 200 countries agreed to create a loss and damage fund at last year’s conference in Egypt. The agreement is considered one of the major successes of the summit. The fund will be financed mostly by major economies before the money gets distributed among “particularly vulnerable” nations.
Still, a number of details need to be ironed out, including how much developed nations will pay and how the money will be distributed. Several meetings aimed at addressing these issues have been taking place this year.
Developing countries have been experiencing the disproportionate impact of climate-driven disasters. They have called for guaranteed compensation from the richer nations, who they blame for the deepening emergency through their historically high emissions.
Developed countries acknowledge the need to contribute more towards the raging problem. But framing the payments as reparations is controversial, with some claiming it’s a divisive term.