The industrialised countries of the North bear the main responsibility for climate change. However, the Global South in particular suffers from the consequences. A study takes stock of the financial situation.
This article is IPPEN. MEDIA in the course of a cooperation with ESG. Table Professional Briefing – first published by Research.Table on June 7, 2023.
LEEDS – To offset their excessive greenhouse gas emissions, the industrialized nations of the North would have to make $170 trillion in compensation payments to the countries of the Global South. This is the conclusion reached by a research group led by Andrew Fanning from the University of Leeds in the UK. Their study was published Monday in the journal Nature Sustainability.
For their calculations, the scientists have developed a model that assumes that the Earth's atmosphere is a natural resource that is equally available to all people. "It is a matter of climate justice that the countries that we are asking to rapidly decarbonize their economies, even though they are not responsible for the excessive emissions that destabilize the climate, are compensated for this unfair burden," says Fanning.
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Climate change: U.S. would have to pay the highest compensation payments
Using data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the research team offset historical CO₂ emissions since 1960 with expected emissions up to 2050. In this way, it was possible to determine for each country on the basis of population size how much CO₂ it is allowed to emit in total over these 90 years in order to receive a fair share of the global carbon budget. For their future calculations, the researchers assumed that all countries actually adhere to the goal of limiting global warming to below 1.5 degrees and achieving net zero emissions in 2050. According to this, a total of 1.8 trillion tons of CO₂ may still be emitted.
According to the study, the U.S. would have to pay the highest compensation payments, at around $80 trillion. The EU, including the UK, would amount to 46 trillion US dollars. The burden on Germany would amount to 2050,4 euros per capita per year by 619. That would be the second highest figure after the US, followed by Russia, the UK and Japan. India, on the other hand, would be entitled to $57 trillion in compensation payments as the largest beneficiary. In second place would be China with 15 trillion US dollars. It is followed by Indonesia, Pakistan and Nigeria. Ch