NPR: President Biden Paused his Climate Promises Because of Ukraine

Essay by Eric Worrall

Still covering for Joe; According to NPR, the USA owes billions of dollars climate reparations to the developing world, but those pledges have been put on hold because of the Ukraine war.

The U.S. pledged billions to fight climate change. Then came the Ukraine war

By Rebecca Hersher | NPRMay 14, 2022

The United States owes billions of dollars in climate funding to developing countries. But the war in Ukraine is delaying payments and slowing down U.S. progress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that has leaders in low-lying and less wealthy nations feeling frustrated and forgotten.

“Effectively, the U.S. owes the rest a climate debt that needs to be paid,” says Mohamed Adow, the leader of PowerShift Africa, a coalition that advocates for climate policies across the continent. “Our continent is effectively on the front line, and we are paying for the harms [of] these climate pollutants.”

In 2021, the U.S. promised to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions this decade, and send long-overdue money to help developing countries transition to cleaner energy and protect residents from rising seas, heat waves, food instability and other dangerous climate effects.

If the U.S. follows through, it’s still possible to keep global temperatures from rising catastrophically and prevent tens of millions of unnecessary deaths, according to scientists and economists.

But the Russian invasion of Ukraine might put many U.S. promises on hold. Months after renewing its pledges at the international climate conference in Glasgow, the U.S. has not passed any major climate legislation. The Biden administration has rolled back limits on domestic oil and gas drilling to cope with rising energy prices. This spring, Congress allocated less than one third of the international climate funding it pledged, even as it rushed billions of dollars in military assistance to Ukraine.

The U.S. owes billions of dollars in climate funding to less wealthy nations. It’s not charity, but something akin to reparations. The idea is that countries that industrialized in the early and mid-twentieth century became wealthy in part by burning oil, gas and coal. Climate change driven by emissions from that early industrialization poses the biggest threat to developing countries, which have contributed far less to global warming. 

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The USA owes nothing to developing countries. Even the poorest nations use mobile phones, and other technologies mostly developed by Britain and the USA, to improve their lives. Poor fishermen in Africa use mobile phones to find the best market for their catch. People earning a few dollars a day in the Philippines pay pennies to get a lift on gasoline powered vehicles. Electricity for refrigeration, which mostly comes from fossil fuel powered generators, is a game changer for poor people who have access. Mass produced textbooks and the internet have improved lives, employment prospects and incomes throughout the world.

All this quality of life boosting technology is only available because of that industrial revolution NPR despises so much.

If the leaders of developing countries want to build their people a sea wall, or other “climate” mitigation public works, they should get off their butts and organise the construction of their own civic works projects, using their own materials and resources, instead of expecting the USA or other rich countries to support their kleptocratic incompetence by parachuting in crate loads of cash to solve all their money problems.

via Watts Up With That?

May 15, 2022 at 12:35AM

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