Quantifying climate inequity; determining the value of nature

It has long been known that rich nations contribute disproportionately to climate change, while many poorer nations disproportionately suffer the consequences. Now a new study has begun to quantify the inequality, and gets specific about which nations are being harmed and who is doing the harming.

“For example, the data shows that the top carbon emitter over time, the United States, has caused more than $1.9 trillion in climate damage to other countries from 1990 to 2014, including $310billion in damage to Brazil, $257billion in damage to India, $124 billion to Indonesia, $104 billion to Venezuela and $74 billion to Nigeria.

“But at the same time, the United States’ own carbon pollution has economically benefited the U.S. by more than $183 billion, while Canada, Germany and Russia have profited even more from American emissions.

“‘Do all countries look to the United States for restitution? Maybe,’ said study co-author Justin Mankin, a Dartmouth College climate scientist. ‘The U.S. has caused a huge amount of economic harm by its emissions, and that’s something that we have the data to show.’ …

“The study also tallies benefits, which are mainly seen in northern countries like Canada and Russia, and rich nations like the U.S. and Germany.

“‘It’s the countries that have emitted the least that are also the ones that tend to be harmed by increases in global warming. …'”


#ClimateInequity #DoubleInequity

In other news, a report sets forth guidelines for assessing the value of nature.

“Countries have approved the first comprehensive guidelines for judging the value of nature following four years of intense debate, officials said Monday.

“The report was endorsed by 139 countries — including the U.S., Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany — that are members of the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

“IPBES’ authors hope the guide they’ve drawn up with the help of experts from a wide range of disciplines will make it easier for governments to consider more than just the economic benefits of a project when deciding whether and how to go ahead with it.

@That includes figuring out how local communities will gain or lose from a project such as a hydroelectric dam – a situation that has regularly led to friction among businesses, citizens and authorities in the past. Rather than prescribe a set way for governments to estimate these noneconomic benefits, the report provides them with tools for working through the often complex assessment process …”