Rich nations owe poor countries $192 tln for climate crisis: Study
Countries that release the least emission would receive approximately $6 trillion annually for committing their economies to decarbonizing quicker than required.
A joint research from the University of Leeds and the University of Barcelona has discovered that wealthy nations owe almost $200 trillion to developing and least developed countries - those bearing the brunt of the climate crisis - as a result of being responsible for excessive levels of carbon dioxide emissions.
Published on Monday in the journal Nature Sustainability, the study drew out the first plan to hold countries liable, requesting a compensation fund of $192 trillion by 2050, as reported by Forbes.
Climate scientists stated that global carbon budgets (which measure how much carbon can be released to achieve a certain climate target) calculate the equal “fair share” of the total carbon budget for 168 countries, based on their population size.
When each nation's fair share was calculated, researchers found some countries to be within their allocation, but mainly industrialized countries in the Global North were found already significantly surpassing their allocation.
The Global North, representing the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia, was found responsible for compensating $170 trillion, while the rest of the $192 trillion figure was due from high-emitting countries in the global South like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Countries that release the least emission would receive approximately $6 trillion annually for committing to decarbonizing their economies quicker than required, according to the researchers.
Compensation for an 'unfair burden'
The study stated that the US was liable for paying a whopping $80 trillion.
Other nations have done a better job at maintaining low levels of carbon emissions, such as India, which could be entitled to receive $57 trillion in compensation, as per an estimate in the study.
“It is a matter of climate justice that if we are asking nations to rapidly decarbonize their economies, even though they hold no responsibility for the excess emissions that are destabilizing the climate, then they should be compensated for this unfair burden,” said Andrew Fanning, one of the researchers of the study.
Referring to a potential solution, the Global Project stated last year that it would take a cut of almost 1.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year from global emissions to reach zero emissions by 2050.
Scientists have been calling for that solution in recent years as society is starting to become more aware of the effects of CO2 emissions.
During her visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina told AFP, "They don't act. They can talk but they don't act," adding, "The rich countries, the developed countries, this is their responsibility. They should come forward. But we are not getting that much response from them. That is the tragedy. I know the rich countries, they want to become more rich and rich. They don't bother for others."
Even Pakistani Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman called on rich nations to compensate for the damage they've caused as part of the climate crisis back in September.
The biggest nation emitting CO2 is China, which has vowed to reduce emissions to net zero by 2060, followed by the US which has a long-term plan of reaching net zero by 2050.
Since the US revealed a $370 billion "buy American" subsidy package for tax credits and renewable energy subsidies known as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last year, the manufacturing of green technologies became more necessary.