How climate debt hurts poor nations

George Wamukoya of the African Group of Negotiator Expert Support (AGNES), emphasises the dire situation: "Developing nations, particularly those in Africa, Southeast Asia, and small island states, are being disproportionately affected by climate change. Yet these countries often lack the financial and infrastructural resources to cope with and adapt to these changes effectively."

"The main cause of the issue lies in the historical and ongoing emissions of greenhouse gases by developed countries," Wamukoya explained,

Guyo Roba is an energy and environment expert at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). He highlighted this inequity, saying, "These emissions, predominantly the result of industrialisation, have significantly contributed to the current climate crisis. Developing countries, while not substantial contributors to global emissions, are suffering the most severe impacts."

They indicated one of the most significant concerns is the "loss and damage" caused by climate debt.

Roba underscored the financial toll: "The costs associated with repairing infrastructure, providing humanitarian aid, and adapting to climate-induced changes are high. These expenses divert funds away from crucial development projects such as education, healthcare, and poverty reduction."

Furthermore, a glaring inequity exists in terms of carbon emissions. Roba said,

International accords, such as the Paris Agreement, recognize the concept of climate debt. However, there remains a substantial gap between the promised financial assistance to developing nations and the actual support provided. Roba warned, "This disparity hampers vulnerable countries in their efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change effectively."