US refuses climate reparations for developing countries
It says it will not pay reparations to developing countries hit by climate-related disasters “under any circumstances”.
Before flying to China to discuss the issue, climate envoy John Kerry made the remarks at a congressional hearing.
The major economies that emit the most greenhouse gases are being asked to pay for past emissions by some countries.
There has been a fund set up for poorer nations, but it is unclear how much richer countries will contribute.
Kerry, a former secretary of state, was asked whether the US will reimburse countries affected by floods, storms, and other climate-related disasters during a hearing before the House of Representatives foreign affairs committee.
To a question from committee chair Brian Mast, he replied, “no, under no circumstances.”.
Days before he was due to travel to Beijing to meet with officials about climate change, including plans for this year’s UN climate conference, COP28, to be held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, in November.
More than 200 countries agreed last year at COP27 in Egypt to create a loss and damage fund, which will mainly be financed by developed nations before being distributed to “particularly vulnerable” nations.
The summit’s agreement was hailed as a major success, but many details still need to be worked out, including how much richer nations will pay and how money will be distributed. These issues have been discussed at a series of meetings this year.
Developing countries, which are disproportionately impacted by climate-related impacts, are calling for guaranteed compensation from developing countries, whose greenhouse gas emissions have historically been responsible for climate change.
The richer nations recognize the need for greater contributions, but framing the payments as reparations is controversial, with some claiming it is divisive.
Furthermore, developing countries claim that climate change financing targets are too low.