By Paul Homewood
Developed countries including the UK face a legal claim of hundreds of billions of pounds to compensate poorer nations for damage from storms and rising seas caused by climate damage.
A coalition of island nations, led by Antigua and Barbuda and Tuvalu, is preparing to launch a case at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
Early next year they plan to seek an advisory ruling that countries with high historical emissions are liable to pay compensation for the damage they suffer because of climate change. If it succeeds they will file claims.
They say that they have made little contribution to global warming and the “polluter pays” principle should apply.
Molwyn Joseph, environment minister of Antigua and Barbuda, who is representing the Alliance of Small Island States at Cop26, said that his islands faced worse hurricanes and were entitled to compensation, not charity. He said that after Hurricane Irma had caused damage totalling more than £170 million to Barbuda in 2017, his government had appealed for international aid but received only a fraction of the amount needed to rebuild. “When damage is done, experts must come in and do their assessment to establish liability,” he said.
Scientists are confident that they can link specific extreme weather events to climate change and show that they were made much more likely and severe by emissions caused by humans.
Campaigners have estimated that in 2030 vulnerable nations will need at least $300 billion to cover loss and damage due to climate change.
There is no trend in the number of hurricanes hitting Antigua:
Only two hurricanes have hit or brushed Antigua since 2000, compared to the long term average of one every 6 years:
And only one major hurricane since Luis in 1995:
And thanks to the western economic development which he decries, his people are better off than they have ever been:
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November 8, 2021 at 12:18PM