Rich countries are ‘pushing back’ on paying for climate damage at COP26.

At COP26, vulnerable countries claim that wealthy countries are resisting their attempts to collect compensation for the damage caused by climate change.

Poorer countries believe it is vital that compensation for loss and damage be included in this week’s talks.

Negotiators agreed to address the issue in Paris in 2015, but they couldn’t agree on who should pay for it.

Rich countries are said to be reluctant to make any pledges because they do not want to be held liable and risk being sued.

Developing countries say that wealthy nations are to blame for the majority of today’s climate change effects because they began emitting carbon far earlier than the rest of the globe.

“For affluent countries, loss and harm are still taboo,” said Alpha Oumar Kaloga, one of the Africa Group’s chief negotiators, who also represents Guinea in the Least Developed Countries bloc (LDC). The LDC bloc includes 46 countries, the majority of which are in Africa.

“We have frequently argued during discussions that loss and damage should be stated in a distinct column in rich nations’ climate finance reporting documents, because such losses and damages occur all across the world,” Mr Kaloga added.

Rich countries’ behind-closed-door resistance is especially aggravating when they’re “talking about transparency in this whole process” at the same time.

According to a report released this year by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), about 25% of climate finance from developed countries went towards adaptation in 2019, such as preparing for extreme weather events or building seawalls, while the rest was used to fund carbon-reduction projects.

Poor countries claim that climate change is having such tremendous impact on communities that they can no longer adapt and require financial assistance to rebuild or relocate.

The UK has been coordinating the discussions as the COP presidency holder. According to a spokeswoman, the UK is “listening to all parties’ opinions and the final text will be reached by consensus.”

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