The climate change discourse took a new turn on Wednesday with small island nations demanding that countries like India and China, which are perceived to be highly polluting nations, should contribute to a climate fund. This, according to reports they said, would help countries rebuild after climate change-driven disasters.
The suggestion came from Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne at the UN COP27 summit underway in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh. This is the first time that India and China have been clubbed together as major emitters by small island nations.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the summit, Browne said the two countries (India and China) are liable to pay for a climate compensation fund irrespective of the fact that both are emerging economies. He was representing the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) negotiating bloc.
There was consensus among the delegates at the conference to take up the issue of loss and damage as the formal agenda for the first time in the history of international climate negotiations, said further.
Reports from the summit quoted Browne as saying: “We all know that the People’s Republic of China, India they’re major polluters, and the polluter must pay.”
“I don’t think that there’s any free pass for any country and I don’t say this with any acrimony.”
In climate talks parlance, the phrase “loss and damage” refers to costs already being incurred from climate-fuelled weather extremes or impacts, like rising sea levels.
(With Inputs from IANS)