The US and China are pointing fingers at each other over climate change

2 weeks ago 15

The UN climate conference just wrapped up over the weekend after a marathon negotiating session that stretched talks nearly 48 hours past their scheduled conclusion. (A question for my editor: the UN isn’t hitting deadlines, so do I still have to?)

The most notable outcome from the conference was establishment of a fund to help poor countries pay for climate damages. That piece is being hailed as a win. But beyond that victory, some leaders are concerned there wasn’t enough progress at this year’s talks. 

And everyone is pointing fingers, blaming others for not taking action fast enough on climate funding. Activists are calling the US the ‘colossal fossil,’ and US leaders are complaining about being blamed while China is the current leading emitter. So let’s dig into some data and consider how researchers and climate analysts think about climate responsibility. 

Why it matters

As I wrote about a couple of weeks ago in the newsletter, one of the major discussions at COP27 was about whether richer countries should help poorer, more vulnerable nations pay for the impacts of climate change. Climate disasters were top of mind this year, especially after devastating flooding in Pakistan killed over 1,000 people, displaced millions more. Total cost estimates topped $40 billion. 

After two weeks of negotiations, delegates at COP27 reached an agreement on financing for loss and damage….sort of. There will be a fund, but how much is in it and how it will work is unclear. Details...

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