Essay by Eric Worrall
Everyone agrees the USA should be looted, but China and India want to be recipients of funding, not contributors.
COP28: Should India and China receive or pay climate damage fund?
By Navin Singh Khadka
Environment correspondent, BBC World Service
China is the top emitter of greenhouse gases in the world and India comes at number three.
The two countries also have major economies, so then why is there a disagreement over whether they should contribute to a fund to tackle the damage caused by climate change?
What is the loss and damage fund?
The fund aims to provide financial assistance to poorer nations that have been hit by climate-related disasters – for example, communities displaced by floods or rising sea levels – so that they can rebuild and be rehabilitated.
Who should pay for it?
The US – a developed country and the second largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world – and other developed nations say China and India should join them in not only making significant cuts in emissions for meaningful global climate action, but also contribute to the fund.
But China and India disagree, arguing their high levels of emissions are a recent development when compared to the historic emissions of developed countries like the US and the UK.
Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-67610621
This is shaping up to be the funniest COP to date.
The leader of COP28 Sultan Al Jaber appears to want to cash in on last year’s $150 billion investment in more capacity.
Now participants can’t make up their minds who gets to loot who, with intractable disputes about whether India and China should be looters or victims.
I doubt China will budge on their refusal to pay up. China is in the middle of a multi-trillion dollar property and banking crisis which has tanked a third of their economy, problems which are rapidly getting worse thanks to the already deeply indebted Chinese government policy of propping up failed enterprises with public money. China has bigger problems than worrying about looking bad at a climate conference.
India is also in the middle of a Chinese style housing bubble, which could easily burst if fear generated by the Chinese collapses affects consumer confidence in India. While India’s finances are currently buoyant, thanks to Prime Minister Modi’s growth oriented policies, the economic winds in India could change very rapidly in the face of a global slowdown.
I can’t help thinking the only winner from COP28 will be the COP 28 President, Sultan Al Jabber, who will likely find lots of buyers for his nation’s rapidly expanding natural gas capacity.