Poor countries walk out of climate conference over 'compensation' issue

The world's poorest countries walked out of the Warsaw climate conference because rich countries refuse to discuss "compensation" for "extreme weather events" until after 2015.


Developing countries have demanded that a new UN institution be set up to oversee compensation but rich countries have been dismissive, blocking calls for a full debate in the climate talks.

"The EU understands that the issue is incredibly important for developing countries. But they should be careful about ... creating a new institution. This is not [what] this process needs," said Connie Hedegaard, EU climate commissioner.

She ruled out their most important demand, insisting: "We cannot have a system where we have automatic compensation when severe events happen around the world. That is not feasible."

The G77 and China group, which is due to give a press conference on Wednesday to explain the walkout, has made progress on loss and damage, which it says is a "red line" issue. It claims to be unified with similar blocs including the Least Developed Countries, Alliance of Small Island States and the Africa Group of negotiators.

Hedegaard poured cold water on last week's related proposal by Brazil, that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change be asked to find a way to quantify each country's historical emissions of greenhouse gases in order to help countries establish the level of future emission cuts.

Debate on the issue has been rejected by rich countries, which fear it could lead to unacceptable costs.

Hedegaard conceded that rich countries had a special responsibility to cut emissions. "The whole financing discussion reflects that the developed world knows it has special responsibility. Most of what has been emitted has been done by us," she said.

Harjeet Singh, ActionAid Internatonal's spokesman on disaster risk, said: "The US, EU, Australia and Norway remain blind to the climate reality that's hitting us all, and poor people and countries much harder. They continue to derail negotiations in Warsaw that can create a new system to deal with new types of loss and damage such as sea-level rise, loss of territory, biodiversity and other non-economic losses more systematically."

On how many levels does this suck? Too many to count. Just how do you quantify which weather events are the result of "global warming" and which ones would have occurred anyway? This isn't as much as a sticking point as it should be, which shows that eventually, the industrialized west is going to come around and start redistributing wealth from north to south.

That's what this is all about. It has nothing to do with climate. It's a scheme to separate cash from wealthy countries and pour it into the coffers of the African kleptocrats - with their Swiss bank accounts. The trillions of development dollars these robbers have already taken from western governments in the form of low interest loans and turned into half-finished dams, roads that go nowhere, and housing that falls apart at the first breath of wind  should teach us where any "climate compensation" dollars will go.

Of course, they wouldn't be poor countries if they had any semblance of good government. Before they get a dime from us, for whatever reason, we should demand wholesale reforms that would at least protect the taxpayers from the "presidents for life" and their cronies.

But that would be racist of us, wouldn't it?

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