On climate reparations, Biden caves and America pays

John Kerry the was the US special representative for climate change, the right position to attend the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties.

Kerry said before the conference, “It is a well known fact that the United States and many other countries will not establish a legal structure related to compensation or liability.” “It just doesn’t happen.”


But then he did.

In order to avoid the headlines of yet another failure of the Biden administration, Kerry agreed to a fund, managed by United Nations bureaucrats, that would transfer wealth from industrialized countries like the United States to developing countries that claim to have damaged by climate change.

Kerry was right the first time. The Biden administration’s caveat will do nothing to stop climate change, but it will inevitably expose US taxpayers to absurd legal liabilities.

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There are many problems with launching a new climate change fund that will allegedly benefit developing countries, but the most obvious is that we already have one. The United Nations had previously established the Green Climate Fund in 2010 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. In theory, rich countries are supposed to give 100 billion dollars a year to this organization. Instead, only 10 billion dollars have been promised so far. The Obama administration promised $3 billion but only gave $1 billion to the fund before he left office. The Biden administration has secured only another 1 billion dollars so far. Former President Donald Trump gave nothing to the fund.

So why are international climate bureaucrats creating a new climate fund when the first one fell so woefully short of its goals?

At least the Green Climate Fund had a worthy goal – to help developing countries adopt more efficient energy technologies and adapt to climate change. It would be an improvement to spend money on projects that actually accomplish these goals.

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That’s not to say that a fund based on giving developing nations more money for the damage they claim is caused by climate change is a terrible idea. It creates perverse incentives that will increase economic damage and kill more people.

Consider Pakistan, one of the biggest supporters of the new climate compensation fund, which tried to claim that the recent floods were the result of climate change. “All this happened despite our very low carbon footprint,” Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told conference attendees, “and yet we were victims of something we had nothing to do with.”

Something to do? Live?

The government of Pakistan has encouraged a policy of deforestation to the extent that only 5% of the country’s land is now covered by forests. The government also allowed farmers to plant much-needed floodplains that will reduce heavy rains. It is these non-climate related policy decisions that have made Pakistan so vulnerable to heavy rains. Pakistan’s policy was all about the country being flooded, but the Americans could still be forced to pay for it. Worse, a climate fund designed to compensate for climate damages will only encourage countries to become less adaptable to extreme weather events.

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Climate change; what do they do. The best thing humanity can do to continue to cope with climate change is to ensure that everyone around the world is as prosperous as possible so that they can adapt as best they can. Paying compensation to countries that do nothing to adapt is a step in the wrong direction.



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