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It’s time to pay up

  • Published at 12:02 am November 30th, 2019
Flood
Photo: MEHEDI HASAN

Developed nations have a duty to compensate poor countries

While the brunt of the adverse effects of climate change is being faced by developing countries like Bangladesh, it is the rich countries of the world which are responsible for most of the damage.

Fighting climate change, as has been said before, requires worldwide effort, with all countries acknowledging their responsibilities, and doing what is necessary.

This means that developed nations have a duty to compensate poor countries which are hurting. In this regard, developed nations have acknowledged this responsibility, but are yet to make any great strides towards climate financing that solves the problem in a sustainable way.

In the upcoming Conference of Parties to be held at Madrid, it is crucial to find a resolution. It is hoped that countries of the world will unite to agree upon the terms of compensation, and make sure the pledge is seen through.

For example, the Green Climate Fund -- under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change -- has granted $85 million to Bangladesh in this regard, but experts say this is nowhere near enough to get the job done. A more appropriate amount would be $2.5 billion, for starters.

It is also important to acknowledge that these should be grants, not loans. Otherwise, wherein lies the duty of countries which emitted so much carbon into the air and caused this climate crisis in the first place? 

Loans will not do, as they would merely further burden already struggling nations with poorer economies, and create a cycle of debt from which they may never be able to escape. Climate financing then, should not be a political tool to keep poor countries in check.

Compensation is only part of the overall fight against climate change, but to ensure social justice and equality in the world, it may be the most urgent part right now.