Annie Lowrey contends that “the poorer the country, the harder it might be for it to respond to a changing climate”:
Let’s take the example of a typhoon. Before a storm hits, building sturdy, secure houses and ensuring that a population has a plan for evacuation are critical to preserving life and property. Right after a storm, highways, search-and-rescue teams, helicopters, tractors, firefighters, hospitals and surgeons become critical for doing the same. Afterward, insurance, savings and a well-financed government response become necessary for rebuilding lives and cities. When it comes to such disasters, money matters.
Naderev Saño, the Philippines’ delegate to the UN climate change talks and a native of hard-hit Tacloban, fought back tears Monday as he urged the UN to take action. He added that, even if rich countries radically cut their emissions, “we would still have locked-in climate change and would still need to address the issue of loss and damage.” That’s not what the US wants to hear:
An official US briefing document obtained by the Guardian reveals that the country is worried the UN negotiations, currently under way in Warsaw, will “focus increasingly on blame and liability” and poor nations will be “seeking redress for climate damages from sea level rise, droughts, powerful storms and other adverse impacts.”
(Photo: A neighborhood in the Philippine city of Tacloban is destroyed in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. By Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)