Leaked documents have shown that the most vulnerable countries across the globe are preparing to take on the richest economies with a demand for urgent finance which includes new taxes on fossil fuels or flying – for the irrecoverable losses they have suffered because of the climate crisis.
As the world heats up further, reports show that damages to poor countries are expected to increase. Increasing sea and air temperatures in the Caribbean are expected to create a superstorm within years that would wreak £7.9bn of damage in the island nation alone, six times its annual GDP.
Already, many developing countries are battling with extreme weather which is expected 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.
According to reports, some of the world’s most vulnerable countries have already prepared a paper for discussion this week at the UN general assembly, a development which 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, among other things, takes into consideration the advantages and drawbacks of 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.
This November, Countries will meet again to hold fresh talks at the COP27 which will hold in Egypt, with loss and damage 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.
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.
Story was adapted from the Guardian.