An issue called loss and damage will likely dominate difficult climate talks in Egypt this month
It was a total loss — the type that is usually glossed over in big impersonal statistics like $40 billion in damage from this summer's Pakistan floods that put one-third of the nation underwater.
“We lost everything, our home and our possessions,” said Taj Mai, a mother of seven who is four months pregnant and in a flood relief camp in Pakistan’s Punjab province. “At least in a camp our children will get food and milk.”
This is the human side of a contentious issue that will likely dominate climate negotiations in Egypt this month. It's about big bucks, justice, blame and taking responsibility. Extreme weather is worsening as the world warms, with a study calculating that human-caused climate change increased Pakistan’s flood-causing rain by up to 50%.
While Pakistan was flooding, six energy companies — ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell,BP, Saudi Aramco and Total Energies — made $97.49 billion in profits from July to September. Poorer nations, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Europe’s leaders and U.S. President Joe Biden are calling for fossil fuel firms to pay a windfall profits tax. Many want some of that money, along with additional aid from rich nations that spewed the lion’s share of heat-trapping gases, to be used to pay countries victimized by past pollution, like Pakistan.
The issue of polluters paying for their climate messes is called loss and damage in...
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