by George Russell,
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The United Nations is pushing for a novel way to get billions of extra dollars from Western nations by imposing a retroactive penalty for still-unspecified losses and damages that can be laid at the doorstep of rich countries for their longstanding production of greenhouse gases.
The notion was vigorously opposed by the U.S. at the talks, which concluded in Doha on Dec. 8 -- even though the U.S. has never ratified the Protocol. But that did not stop the assembly of more than 195 nations from rolling the idea forward to their next meeting, in Warsaw next December.
In the meantime, the Kyoto parties are calling for more research “to further the understanding of and expertise on loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change.”
In other words, the Protocol nations do not yet even know how exactly to define the loss and damage concept, especially the sort associated with “slow-onset” change associated with rising seas and desertification. Yet in their final resolution on the topic they underlined that “the lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as reason for postponing action.”
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