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Fighting over human suffering, the enormous cost of climate change

sharm el sheikh – It was a total loss — the type that is usually masked in big impersonal stats like $40 billion in damage Pakistan’s floods this summer have submerged a third of the country.

“We lost all our homes and property,” said Taj Mai, a mother of seven and four months pregnant, in a flood relief camp in Pakistan’s Punjab province. “At least at camp, kids get food and milk,” she said.

This is the human side of a controversial issue likely to dominate climate talks in Egypt this month.It’s about big bucks, justice, blame, and taking responsibility. Extreme weather is getting worse as the world warms climate change Pakistan’s increased flood causes Up to 50% rain.

6 energy companies while Pakistan is hit by floods — exxon mobilchevron, shell,blood pressure, Saudi Aramco When total energy — Profit of $97.49 billion from July to September. poorer countries, United Nations Secretary General Antonio GuterresEuropean leaders and US President Joe Biden is asking fossil fuel companies to pay a windfall profit tax. Many have taken part of that money from rich countries that vented most of the heat-trapping gases to be used to pay for past pollution victims like Pakistan. I would like additional assistance.

The question of how polluters pay for climate disruption is called loss and damage in international climate negotiations. It’s all about reparations.

“Loss and damage will become a priority and a determining factor in the success of COP27,” said Kenyan climate activist Elizabeth Watuti, referring to climate talks in Egypt. A senior UN official said he was looking for “something meaningful in terms of loss and damage” and was “certainly encouraged” by the negotiations on Friday, Saturday and Sunday that put the issue on the agenda of the conference.

Money for loss and damage differs from two other financial assistance systems already in place to help poor countries develop carbon-free energy and adapt to future warming.

Since 2009, the world’s richest countries have pledged $100 billion in climate change assistance to poorer countries, most of it away from coal, oil and natural gas and into greener energy sources. used to build the system. Authorities now want to use half of it to build systems to adapt to future climate disasters.

Neither financial pledge has been fulfilled yet, but neither addresses the issue of paying for current and past climate disasters such as heat waves in India, floods in Pakistan and droughts in Africa.

“The current level of global warming of 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) is already causing dangerous and widespread loss and damage to nature and billions of people,” said a climate analytics scientist in the Bahamas. says Adelle Thomas.

“Loss and damage are inevitable and unequally distributed,” she said, with poorer countries, the elderly and the poor and vulnerable hitting harder.

US and European officials, for years reluctant to talk about compensation in climate talks, said they were happy to discuss loss and damage. But the United States, the largest carbon polluter in history, would not agree to such a liability, Special Envoy John Kerry said.

U.S. emissions that caused global warming cost Pakistan’s gross domestic product at least $32 billion between 1990 and 2014, it said. Dartmouth Climate Researcher’s Calculations Christopher Callahan and Justin Mankin build on past emissions. And it’s based solely on temperature-oriented damage, not rainfall.

“Loss and damage is a way of recognizing and compensating for past harm,” Mankin said. Or whether to repay the damage is up to politics.”

According to figures from the Global Carbon Project, the United States emits more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels in 16 days than Pakistan does in a year.

Karen Herbert, CEO of the American Gas Association, said Americans were not going to make such payments to faraway countries and that was not the way to think about the issue.

“This is not just Pakistan. said in an interview with

“If I had a chance to talk to the people of Pakistan, I would say …The solution is, first of all, to use natural gas and have a much cleaner electrical system than we have today. “It means you can put it in,” she said.

But for Aaisa Bibi, a pregnant mother of four from Punjab, cheaper and cleaner energy doesn’t make much sense when her family has nowhere to live but refugee camps.

“Pakistan, which emits less than 1% of global emissions, is certainly not part of the climate change problem,” said Shabnam Baloch, director of the International Red Cross Pakistan, saying people like Bibi are simply suffering from floods and heat. I added that I was just trying to ride the wave. , drought, low yields, water scarcity, and inflation.

In Kenya’s semi-arid Makueni County, where a devastating drought has lasted more than three years, 47-year-old goat and sheep farmer John Giczki says, “It’s hard to watch livestock die of thirst and hunger. is traumatic,” he said.

Giczki’s maize and legume harvests have failed four seasons in a row. “Farms are mostly at the mercy of the climate,” he said.

In India, Record heat linked to climate change It caused death and crop ruin. Elsewhere, it is devastation from tropical cyclones. wetter and stronger Because you are burning fossil fuels.

This global issue has parallels within the United States in the controversial debate over payment for damages caused by slavery.

“In many ways, we are talking about reparations,” said Sakoby Wilson, a professor of environmental health and justice at the University of Maryland. “It’s the right term to use,” he said, because rich northern countries benefit from fossil fuels, while the poorer south of the world suffers from floods, droughts, climate refugees and hunger.

The government of Barbados has proposed changes to how multinational development banks lend to poor countries given climate change vulnerabilities and disasters. Pakistan and others are seeking debt relief.

“Put yourself in the shoes of others,” said Avinash Persaud, a special envoy to Barbados Prime Minister Mia Motley.

Persaud proposes a long-term levy on high oil, coal and natural gas prices, but it does the opposite. At today’s high energy prices, there is no tax, so there is no increase in inflation. But when fossil fuel prices drop by 10%, 1% of the price drop goes to the fund, which can pay out victims of climate change losses and damages without increasing their living costs.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called the loss and damage move the “litmus test paper” for the success of the Egypt climate conference and has named two senior state officials to try to hammer out a deal. Jennifer Morgan and Chilean Environment Minister Maitha Rojas.

“The fact that it has been adopted as an agenda item is a sign of progress and the maturity and constructive attitude of parties to it,” UN Climate Change Executive Director Simon Steele said at a press conference on Sunday. “This is a tough area. It’s been debated for over 30 years. I think the fact that it exists as a substantive agenda item is a good sign.”

“The most important thing is how these discussions play out in the next few weeks of substantive discussions,” Stiel said.


Climate data journalists Mary Katherine Wildeman of Hartford, Connecticut and Camille Fassett of Seattle. Wanjohi Kavkul in Mombasa, Kenya. Frank Jordan in Berlin. Ellen Nickmayer of Washington. Shazia Bhatti from Rajanpur, Pakistan. Contributed by her Aniruddha Ghosal from New Delhi and Megan Janetsky from Havana, Cuba.


Follow AP’s climate and environmental coverage. https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment


Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter. @borenbears


The Associated Press’ climate and environmental coverage is supported by several private foundations. Learn more about AP’s climate initiatives hereAP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/11/07/loss-and-damage-fight-over-human-harm-huge-climate-costs/ Fighting over human suffering, the enormous cost of climate change

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