Activists demand developed countries to pay reparations for climate crisis
BANGKOK, April 3 (Xinhua) – Climate activists from developing countries rallied outside UNESCAP building in Bangkok Sunday morning to ask rich industrialized countries to pay reparations for causing and exacerbating the global climate crisis.
A group of activists from Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, the Philippines, Pakistan, Indonesia and Africa were protesting outside the United Nations ESCAP building, the venue of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) talks, carrying a huge effigy of Uncle Sam symbolizing how the United States and other Annex I countries are dominating the climate talks.
According to Willy D’Costa of the Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), a member of Jubilee South-Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), science and history show that Annex I countries directly account for three quarters of historical emissions even as they comprise only one quarter of the world’s population.
Not only have the Annex I countries denied developing countries, or countries of the South, their rightful share of atmospheric space, the excessive emissions of Annex I countries have led to global warming and climate change, he said.
“They [rich industrialized countries] owe huge climate debt to the peoples and countries of the South,” D’Costa said.
D’Costa also told Xinhua that the Annex I countries, particularly the United States, must be responsible for causing the gas emission over the past century.
“The Annex I countries, especially the U.S. and all others, are responsible for the mess because the climate crisis has been created by them. And they are refusing to do anything about it. They should pay for it and should ensure the emission will be cut down,” D’Costa insisted.
The Annex I nations are classified as industrialized countries and countries with economies in transition.
When asked whether the developed countries should support the developing countries financially in efforts to curb climate change, D’Costa replied “Yes, they should support for the climate mess so that the poor countries, the developing countries can manage to cope with the crisis, to transfer the technology, not through any company but directly to the state so that we can change the technology to make it more climate friendly.”
Wardarina, an Indonesian activist from another JSAPMDD member, also talked about another element of climate debt.
“Since Annex I countries are responsible for climate change, reparations should include providing the finance and technology needed by people of the South to deal with its harmful impacts now and in the future,” she said.
Wardarina pointed out that the financial supports, however, should not be in form of loans but condition-free and must be public funds not private investments.
As for what the developing countries should contribute to ease the climate crisis, D’Costa said they must join force together to put pressure on developed nations and try not to be divided.
“We should pressurize them. We should not let the developed countries divide us. They are dividing the poor countries in the name of most vulnerable and less vulnerable, least developed, most developed. They are dividing us.”
To the question of what the members of JSAPMDD expect from this meeting, D’Costa replied “We expect that they are discussing on all these things. And we hope that the developed countries will join together and not be divided into different camps, be together and not fall into characterized policy of the U.S. and collectively show that the Annex I countries fully pay for the mess.”
The 16th session of Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the 14th session of Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), as well as workshops pursuant to the Cancun Agreements, will take place from April 3-8 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The former working group is to discuss future commitments for industrialized countries under the Kyoto Protocol while the latter to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the UN Convention through long-term cooperative action.