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China, world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, won’t pay into climate fund for developing countries

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(TibetanReview.net, Nov11’22) – Despite being the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter and the second largest economy, China said Nov 9 that it would not pay into a climate loss and damage fund for developing nations, after small island nations cited its responsibility as a high carbon emitter at the UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt, known as COP27.

Earlier, speaking on behalf of the Association of Small Island States on Nov 8, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne had called for major greenhouse gas emitters China and India also to chip in for a fund to compensate poor countries for the consequences of climate change.

It was the first time developing nations have included China and India among countries financially accountable for emissions, noted the voanews.com Nov 10.

But Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua, while expressing support for such a mechanism, has made it clear that Beijing would not pay cash into the loss and damage fund.

Xie has contended that his country was not obliged to contribute but reiterated its alignment with developing nations in seeking such fund from developed countries.

The world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter has for long been categorized as a developing nation and put into this group at COP for climate discussions.

Developing countries have long urged wealthier nations, seen as responsible for historic emissions, to deliver on promises of $100 billion a year for climate mitigation and adaptation. But their attention has now turned to those responsible for especially high emissions today.

“There is a lot of legitimacy to the historic emissions argument. On the other hand, China, in particular, its emissions growth really just in the last 20, 25 years has been so enormous that its emissions are kind of starting to veer into a territory where you can argue that China is actually responsible for a significant share of cumulative emissions,” Scott Moore, director of China programs and strategic initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania specializing in environmental sustainability and international relations, has said.

China and the United States release more carbon than their share of world population, with the former having 19% of the world’s population but producing over one-fourth of the world’s carbon emissions, the report noted.

During COP26, last year’s UN climate change conference, in Glasgow, Scotland, China and other developing nations sought $1.3 trillion per year from wealthier nations starting 2030. A report from high-level experts at the United Nations, published this month, said by 2030, $2.4 trillion a year would be but only for developing countries “other than China,” the report noted.

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