Should rich nations pay their fair share of the climate change ...

World

Should rich nations pay their fair share of the climate change bill?

Developing countries have tried unsuccessfully to get high-emitting economies to cover their part of the costs

Todd Gillespie

The aftermath of Hurricane Irma has left deep scars in the tiny island nations that were in the path of the category five storm just before it slammed into Florida.

The toll in Antigua and Barbuda added up to more than $220m, according to one assessment backed by the UN — more than a quarter of the annual tax revenue collected for 2017. The island of Barbuda lost nearly half of its houses. And the island has nothing like the economic might of the US to alleviate the damage.

Scientists have sharpened their analytical tools in the four years since Irma and now are able to quickly establish direct links between extreme weather and warming temperatures. If they did a study that attributed the supercharged storm’s power to climate change, who should pay the bill? Antigua and Barbuda, with fewer than 100,000 citizens, has contributed a minuscule portion of the greenhouse gases that are heating the planet. Yet developing nations often bear the brunt of climate impact...

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