Saturday, August 29, 2009

Can US meet Africa's call for annual $67 billion in adaptation aid?

Posted by Yael Borofsky

Recognizing the need for a united stance on climate change in preparation for international negotiations in Copenhagen in December, ten African nations issued a joint draft resolution calling for "rich countries" to commit $67 billion per year in compensation for the deleterious effects of unmitigated climate change, according to a report in Reuters.

Africa, which houses 15 of the 20 most climate-change vulnerable countries, will almost certainly endure the most severe negative consequences of climate change, yet it contributes relatively little to the problem.

This new proposal arrives on the heels of a flurry of Copenhagen related news. The Financial Times reported yesterday that both China and India blame developed nations, such as the U.S., for impeding the progress of a climate treaty. As developing nations, they are demanding financial and technological assistance from the major historic contributors to climate change in order to mitigate the effects of a problem they are not primarily responsible for causing.

Ironically, China and India may be responsible for the majority of future carbon contributions. Meanwhile, most African nations are in an even less culpable position, despite their heightened vulnerability to the threats of a changing climate.

Additionally, last week UN climate chief Yvo de Boer announced that the world's nations must spend $300 billion to mitigate climate change: $100 billion to help vulnerable communities adapt to the threats of climate change and $200 billion for clean energy. Upon hearing this news, Africa may have seen its window of opportunity to ensure that its needs will be seriously considered at the climate talks.

Like China and India, Africa and other developing nations are adamant that richer countries are to blame for lack of efficacious climate action. They further suggest that developed nations are remiss in neglecting to adequately compensate the developing countries that will bear the most arduous climate burden.

As one of the most significant contributors to global carbon emissions and the world's wealthiest nation, there is significant pressure on the U.S. to provide a proportionate share of the funding to aid African adaptation efforts. If the African joint resolution is accepted as the necessary level of aid, the U.S. may be responsible for tens of billions of dollars in annual contribution to global adaptation efforts. Yet, judging by recent congressional climate debates, the U.S. is not preparing to meet African and global expectations.

Although the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) invests roughly $60 billion annually in the domestic clean energy economy, these are short-term investments. Coupled with ACES, which would allocate approximately $1.6 billion for domestic adaptation and just $1.9 billion for international technology transfer, the U.S. will come up disappointingly short in its provision of adaptation aid for Africa and other developing nations.

As Copenhagen approaches, U.S. climate action (or lack thereof) will not only be scrutinized by China and India, but also by Africa and other vulnerable nations that will require far more than emission target commitments to manage the repercussions of climate change. They will be looking for real money on the table, both to directly mitigate U.S. emissions and to aid necessary international adaptation efforts.

4 Opinion(s):

WHITEADDER said...

I hope this shake down artists have posted similar letters of demand to various gods as well to the sun.

Anonymous said...

What discount to their demanded amounts would apply if the West would send the bucks straight away to the Swiss accounts of the comrades African leaders?

h said...

Climate change is a natural phenomenon with the SUN (and in-turn CLOUD formation) being the driving force behind climate change. CO2 does not DRIVE climate change, it FOLLOWS it. This whole 'man made climate change' theory is all a big joke / hoax and it makes me sick.

Now everyone will have to pay 'reparations' to poor under-performing black countries and also pay higher prices (carbon taxes) on everyday items such as milk, meat, etc...

I am getting very very tired of the liberals that decide how my world works and my how i am supposed to live my life! I'm at breaking point here and something has got to give.

Anonymous said...

Never before has so much money been bandied about for such a fallacy. It has been proven over and over that there is no such thing as global warming (hence why no one uses that term anymore and now uses the term climate change). It's such a joke and the first world countries are falling over themselves to be seen as leading the way. This is just another white guilt tirade by third world countries to grab money. China and India have 2.5 BILLION people living in their countries. How can they think that such a mass of people doesn't contribute to some climate change if you're attributing it to CO2?? Not to talk about the millions of people in Africa. What a joke and once again the idiot west will fall for this crap.