Biden Administration Pledges to Pay ‘Climate Reparations’

Biden Administration Pledges to Pay ‘Climate Reparations’
President Joe Biden delivers a speech during the COP27 summit in Egypt's Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Nov. 11, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
Chris Talgo

On Nov. 20, officials at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) agreed to form an international fund to promote “climate justice” by implementing “climate reparations.”

According to Simon Stiell, the U.N. climate change executive secretary, “We have determined a way forward on a decades-long conversation on funding for loss and damage—deliberating over how we address the impacts on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the very worst impacts of climate change.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described the climate reparations deal as “a small step towards climate justice.”

In reality, the deal struck at COP27, in which wealthy nations will pay billions of dollars to poor nations, has nothing to do with climate justice and everything to do with global wealth redistribution.

As of now, there’s no evidence that poor, undeveloped countries have suffered from increased climate change disasters due to the carbon dioxide emissions from wealthy, developed countries such as the United States.

Likewise, there’s no guarantee that the billions of dollars that would be funneled from rich countries to poor countries would be invested in “green” infrastructure. In fact, the poorer nations that are in line to receive the climate reparation payments scoffed when U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry attempted to insert a provision into the agreement that would phase down their use of “unabated” fossil fuels.

In other words, rich Western nations have agreed to send boatloads of money to low-income countries with no assurance that these funds will not end up in the pockets of corrupt officials, as has happened so many times in the past.

Moreover, the climate reparations agreement ignores the fact that poor nations are poor not because of the carbon dioxide emissions from rich countries, but mostly because they lack access to affordable and abundant energy.

As we have seen with the European energy crisis in recent months, ample access to reliable and cheap energy, namely via fossil fuels, is the bedrock for a thriving economy.

If the U.N. actually sought to improve the living standards of the billions of people residing in abject poverty in developing countries, it would do everything in its power to ensure that they have total access to low-cost, dependable energy.

According to the International Energy Agency: “Today 770 million people live without access to electricity, mostly in Africa and Asia. … Africa’s increase in the number of people without access contrasts with Asia, where the rollout of grid connections and distributed electricity access solutions was supported by more concerted policies and easier access to financing. ... Almost 1.2 billion people have gained access to electricity in developing Asia since 2000, with 97% of the region having access in 2020 compared with 67% in 2000.”

The principal reason that Asia has made great strides over the past 20 years in ensuring that almost all of its population has access to electricity is because it has embraced fossil fuels.

In turn, several Asian nations, notably China and India, have drastically reduced the percentage of their people toiling in poverty.

China, in particular, has fully embraced fossil fuels as a means of spurring its dramatic economic transformation. As of today, China is responsible for emitting more than double the amount of carbon dioxide emissions than the United States and European Union, combined.

Yet, according to the COP27 climate reparations agreement, China is considered a “developing” country and is therefore exempt from paying into the newly created fund.

What’s more, the climate reparations agreement is just a down payment on what the U.N. has in mind for the years to come.

According to the U.N.: “A global transformation to a low-carbon economy is expected to require investments of at least USD 4-6 trillion a year. Delivering such funding will require a swift and comprehensive transformation of the financial system and its structures and processes, engaging governments, central banks, commercial banks, institutional investors and other financial actors.”

Make no mistake, the U.N.’s calls for “climate justice” via a “climate reparations” fund isn’t the end of the quest for rich nations to transfer wealth to poor nations; it’s just the beginning.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Chris Talgo is an editor at The Heartland Institute. Talgo writes op-eds, articles for Health Care News and Environmental and Climate News, and hosts podcasts.