The world’s most vulnerable countries are preparing to take on the richest economies with a demand for urgent finance – potentially including new taxes on fossil fuels or flying – for the irrecoverable losses they are suffering from the climate crisis, leaked documents show, Report informs referring to The Guardian.
Extreme weather is already hitting many developing countries hard and forecast to wreak further catastrophe. Loss and damage – the issue of how to help poor nations suffering from the most extreme impacts of climate breakdown, which countries cannot be protected against – is one of the most contentious problems in climate negotiations.
Some of the world’s most vulnerable countries have prepared a paper, seen by the Guardian, for discussion this week at the UN general assembly. It shows that poor countries are preparing to ask for a “climate-related and justice-based” global tax, as a way of funding payments for loss and damage suffered by the developing world.
The funds could be raised by a global carbon tax, a tax on airline travel, a levy on the heavily polluting and carbon-intensive bunker fuels used by ships, adding taxes to fossil fuel extraction, or a tax on financial transactions.
The discussion paper notes advantages and drawbacks to each of these, and the alternatives of raising funding from rich countries through the world’s development banks, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the private sector.
All options for funding loss and damage are likely to be difficult for rich nations to agree to at a time of soaring fossil fuel costs, rising food prices and a cost of living crisis around the world. Although rich countries agreed at the Cop26 UN climate summit in Glasgow last year that there should be a framework for loss and damage, there is no agreement on how it could be funded or who should contribute.
Nations will meet again for fresh talks called Cop27 in Egypt this November, where loss and damage is again expected to be a major topic of discussion. At Cop26, negotiations were generally good-tempered and there was consensus on the need to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. However, amid the geopolitical upheavals since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this year’s talks are likely to be more fractious.