Topic: Global Social and Economic Inequalities Group members: Vyara, Jonathan, Sylvester, Marina & Viktoria
Climate change places significant social and economic burdens on the most vulnerable countries and increases global economic inequality. At the COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh a historic Loss and Damage Fund was established. It is targeted to help the most affected countries and communities to finance their adaptation, mitigation and prevention efforts.The fund is essential to repair damage already in place as well as prevent further risks and consequences from climate change. So far, essential parts of the fund have not yet been clarified, especially questions of financing: Who is going to pay and how much? This is why we address the Transitional Committee in charge for further development of the fund, as well as the civil society who has the power to shape their decisions. Global climate has already suffered great damage. If damage has been done, it is up to the polluters to repair this damage.
The first reason why polluters should pay is of moral nature: we demand that the share to be paid into the fund is calculated according to historically emitted CO2 regarding fossil fuels. This means that the nations that have historically emitted the most CO2(1) will be responsible for the largest share of the payments. For future payments, a distinction must then be made who the current largest emitters are. In addition to nations, companies should also pay for the damage they cause. This is to avoid the CO2 emissions of companies that outsource their sites being credited to the countries that host these companies, even though the wealth of these companies is generated in another country.
The second reason why polluters - past, present or future, countries or companies, should pay into the fund is that wealthy states have generated their wealth thanks to developing their industry which has gone hand in hand with the emission of carbon. Because they have accumulated their wealth through polluting, this is the moment for them to share their wealth with the countries that experience the consequences of climate change the hardest. Wealthy countries and companies should take responsibility and cover the costs in such a fund. Lastly, to the extent that most affected countries are unable to adapt, climate disasters will become more frequent and intense and further crises will evolve. The financial costs to respond to these crises are estimated to double(2). Causes of this exponential rise in financial costs include growing numbers of displaced people, food insecurity and skyrocketing costs for emergency aid and humanitarian assistance. Global economic disruptions, as we are experiencing them today, could take on completely new dimensions – with all the devastating consequences for countries globally. And these are blank economical reasons only – without even highlighting the non-quantifiable costs of loss of human lives, biodiversity and the environment.
As outlined above, only a fund in which all polluters pay their fair share of past, present, and future emissions would help reduce global economic inequality and create a more equitable distribution of wealth and social resources. Given the global dimension of climate change countries should act fast and in solidarity because only when acting together loss and damages can be adequately addressed and future risks can be reduced for everyone.
(1) List of greatest emitters: https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-which-countries-are-historically-responsible-for-climate-change/ (2) landmark report by the IFRC: https://www.ifrc.org/es/media/48881