Who Should Pay The World’s Climate Debt?

At the COP26 climate conference, one of the most hotly debated topics will be climate finance, or how we distribute the costs of global warming. According to the Paris agreement, developed countries will provide $100bn a year by 2020 to help less wealthy nations cover climate damage costs. However, they failed to meet this deadline. According to a new study from the Center for Global Development, OECD countries should more than double their contributions. It equals $190 billion annually until 2100.

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As the director of Oxford University’s Economic Recovery Project, Brian O’Callaghan says we have to confront the effects of climate colonialism. According to him, rich countries industrialized early, effectively securing their prosperity at the cost of considerable carbon emissions. Developing nations confront with the consequences of these emissions. Three-fifths of all historical carbon emissions have come from economies with high incomes since industrialization began. Their share is more than 100 times greater than that of countries with low incomes.

What Is The UK’s Role In This?

ACCORDING TO CGD RESEARCH, the UK’s carbon debt is more than twice as high as the global average. The UK climate debt net out at only 1.8% of global climate debt. Compared to the percentages attributed to the United States (20.7%) and China (19%), this is less than a tenth. Mitchell explains that the UK’s lower burden is partly due to the lack of emissions made before 1979. During this time, climate awareness perceives as having improved. According to him, we were the first country to industrialize and hence emitted a high level of emissions.

It has also reduced its emissions footprint in comparison to other countries. We price recent missions higher because of our methodology. By decoupling economic growth and emissions, the UK has increased living standards while reducing its carbon footprint. However, lower-income countries have a more difficult time achieving low-carbon growth. In the words of Oxford University’s Brian O’Callaghan, addressing the impacts of climate change is impossible without significant international support. Wealthy nations have a responsibility here to right historical wrongs.

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How Should The World Pay Its Climate Debt?

The CGD model estimates global climate debt at $34 trillion to fall most heavily on industrialized and emerging economies. The OECD estimates that 45% of these costs are borne by countries belonging to the group. BRIC countries take another third. A prominent share attribute to the BRIC countries. Because they industrialized later, and the research places greater emphasis on recent emissions.

It also reflects their more carbon-intensive growth, said Ian Mitchell, a senior fellow at CGD and one of the study’s authors. In particular, China and Russia have been developing long enough to contribute significantly to global emissions. As far as climate finance is concerned, so-called developed countries should include them in future discussions.

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