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UN Summit Strikes Climate Deal Promising "Damage Aid" To Poor Nations 212

Hugh Pickens writes writes "BBC reports that UN climate talks in Doha have closed, with a historic shift in principle agreed to by nearly 200 nations, extending the Kyoto Protocol through 2020 and establishing for the first time that rich nations should move towards compensating poor nations for losses due to climate change. Until now rich nations have agreed to help developing countries to get clean energy and adapt to climate change, but they have stopped short of accepting responsibility for damage caused by climate change elsewhere. 'It is a breakthrough,' says Martin Khor of the South Center — an association of 52 developing nations. 'The term Loss and Damage is in the text — this is a huge step in principle. Next comes the fight for cash.' U.S. negotiators made certain that neither the word 'compensation,' nor any other term connoting legal liability, was used, to avoid opening the floodgates to litigation – instead, the money will be judged as aid. Ronny Jumea, from the Seychelles, told rich nations earlier that discussion of compensation would not have been needed if they had cut emissions earlier. 'We're past the mitigation [emissions cuts] and adaptation eras. We're now right into the era of loss and damage. What's next after that? Destruction?' While the United States has not adopted a comprehensive approach to climate change, the Obama administration has put in place a significant auto emissions reduction program and a plan to regulate carbon dioxide from new power plants. 'What this meeting reinforced is that while this is an important forum, it is not the only one in which progress can and must be made,' says Jennifer Haverkamp, director of the international climate programs at the Environmental Defense Fund. The disconnect between the level of ambition the parties are showing here and what needs to happen to avoid dangerous climate change is profound.'"
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UN Summit Strikes Climate Deal Promising "Damage Aid" To Poor Nations

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  • LOL (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:44AM (#42233375)

    I want to know where all of this "compensation" is going to come from. Our debt to gdp ratio is approaching 100 percent and rising, and the Europeans aren't exactly in good shape either. I don't know how Europeans feel, but I think when there is a choice between maintaining social security, medicare, and the military or giving money to brown people in a foreign country, Americans will choose the former.

  • Seems like (Score:4, Informative)

    by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @11:10AM (#42233515)

    There are two different stories here. One says that wealthier nations will offer humanitarian aid to disaster struck areas, the other claims that general compensation is due for damages. Two completely different things, and the actual facts of the matter seem to be more towards humanitarian aid.

  • Re:Annnnnd.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @12:27PM (#42233977)

    Garbage is a different issue.

    Perhaps, since garbage can always be carted away later.

    Maybe a better analogy would be a government that decides not to compensate residents when it builds a dam to make a reservoir out of a valley where people were living.

  • Re:Seems like (Score:4, Informative)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @03:08PM (#42235259) Journal
    It looks like they agreed to encourage the member states to set aside up to $10billion a year, in order to aid countries affected by global warming. It also appears that money will not go to those countries until they actually have a disaster. In order to get countries like the US to agree to this, they chose to add that money to the crisis relief fund, instead of creating a new global warming relief fund. In other words, an imaginary line on a budget somewhere was increased. Also, the Kyoto agreement was extended for a few years.

    If you pay attention, you'll see when a disaster strikes a country, hundreds of countries around the world promise millions, or even billions, in aid to the affected country. As time passes and the world news stops focusing on the disaster, everyone forgets, and most of those countries that promised aid don't actually deliver. I suspect here is nothing different.

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