There’s a hole in the logic being used here to try and justify the rich nations sending $100 billion a year off to the poor. Which is, well, why do the poor countries need $100 billion a year? Or rather, why do the poor countries need $100 billion a year in order to be able to build the power systems necessary to deal with climate change?
Rich countries will miss a key promise they made to the poor world on the climate crisis by failing to provide the money necessary for them to cope with its effects, damaging the prospects for global action, the UN secretary general has said.
Developing countries were supposed to receive at least $100bn (£75bn) in financial assistance from public and private sources this year and in future years to help them cut greenhouse gas emissions and deal with the ravages of extreme weather. The promise was one of the cornerstones of the 2015 Paris agreement and will be a key element of next year’s Cop26 climate talks.
Now, poor countries are indeed poor, so the idea that we might help them is just fine. Of course the way to help them is not to send them money that’ll just be stolen by the ruling classes. Instead we should buy the products of poor people in poor countries thereby making those poor people, not their rulers, richer.
It’s also possible – but we’d perhaps not agree, see above about stealing – to argue that the effects of climate change will impose costs and we should compensate for that.
It’s the third justification that doesn’t make sense though. That we need to be paying them to reduce their emissions. Or, even, aiding them in paying to reduce their own.
For we keep being told that renewables – energy generation plus transport is where the vast bulk of said emissions are – and EVs are cheaper than fossil fuels and ICEs. Thus we should switch over ourselves just because it’s obvious. Why wouldn’t we all use the now cheaper technology?
OK, let us accept that argument, non-emissions is cheaper than emissions. So, why does anyone need to be paid to reduce emissions? They don’t do they?
Therefore one of two things must be true. Either we don’t need to pay the poor countries in which case what’s the moaning about, or, alternatively, renewables and EVs aren’t cheaper in which case why are we adopting them? And yes, that last does still work even if we say only cheaper including third party costs. Poor peeps should be held to account for the third party costs of their actions just as much as richer.
That is, someone, somewhere, is lying to us. But then this is about climate change so we knew that, right?