Poor countries have long wanted the United States and other developed nations to pay for damage they claim was caused by climate change. They finally succeeded at the United Nations climate summit in Egypt earlier this month.
The agreement calls for the United States and other countries that have been large greenhouse gas emitters to pay climate reparations to dozens of countries that make economic claims for what they say are climate-fueled disasters.
The U.S. signed on, even though just weeks earlier John Kerry, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, spoke against the idea. “It’s a well-know fact that the United States and many other countries will not establish some sort of legal structure that is tied to compensation or liability,” Kerry said. “That’s just not happening.”
But it did happen, possibly because the deal supposedly does not make the wealthier countries legally liable for damage, but they are still on the hook for the payments.
The U.N. still must work out details of exactly how much money some countries will receive, and which countries are supposed to pay, but you can guarantee that the United States will get the biggest bill.
The argument will be that the U.S. has generated more greenhouse gases than any other country. That is true, but that fails to account for the monumental contributions the U.S. economy and its free market have made to the world. Where would the economies around the world be today were it not for the United States?
By the way, it does not appear that China will be among the countries forced to pay into this climate slush fund, even though it is now emitting more greenhouse gases than the entire developed world combined, and building more coal-fired power plants every week.
This is the second U.N. created climate change fund. The first one, which was established in 2010, is supposed to raise money to help developing countries mitigate climate change and become more energy efficient.
That fund makes more sense if global leaders are committed to comprehensive efforts to lowering every country’s carbon footprint. Wealthy countries, including the United States, have been slow to meet their financial obligations, so maybe they should catch up on that.
But this second fund under the catch-all category of climate change “damages” is just a money grab.