If Compensating for Climate Change, Why Not Others?
UN Human Rights Commission has for the first time shown its Human Face of compensating for damages inflicted to the world by the wrong-doing of a few. The first concern has come for the damages caused by Climate Change inflicting losses to the rich and poor, culprits and innocent alike. Climate Change is believed to have been caused by unplanned, irresponsible over-exploitation of the Earth’s resources by a few developed and developing nations but the wraths of the calamities are faced by all alike. These calamities have been in the form of unnatural temperature surges, unprecedented rains/cloud bursts causing floods in areas that were traditionally unaffected. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that innocent people made to suffer perils of lives and livelihood due to the wrongdoings of others, must be compensated. UN Human Rights Commission for the first time in their meeting COP27 at Cairo was pressurised to extend its session to take such an unprecedented decision. Undoubtedly, it is a just decision but a legitimate question arises as to why compensate only against Climate Change leaving behind the immense losses caused by Covid and unilateral wars by mightier nations? Why not compensate the losses inflicted on the innocents the world over by the Jihadists? There have been similar other sufferings of the world in past. Humanity the world over is at heightened threats of possible nuclear attacks but none is keen to legislate/compel the perpetrators to compensate. There are several such instances that will continue to emerge in future too. Why are the world agencies mum on it? Why is this partisan approach of compensating one and conveniently ignoring the others?
The Twenty-seventh Convention on Climate Change (COP27) of the UN Human Rights Panel has taken a conscious decision on 20 Nov 2022 to create a “Loss & Damage Fund” to compensate the victims of Climate Change. This fund will essentially compensate the vulnerable nations in developing countries whose lives and livelihoods are being ruined by the worst impacts of climate change. The modalities of generating and disbursing this fund will be worked out through a ‘Transitional Committee’ to make recommendations for the funding arrangements at the COP28. It is remarkable that some of the nations having very meagre carbon-footprints suffer drastically with the consequences of the climate change caused by the few indulging nations. It is known that there will be a cost of development on the planet for a better life and livelihood of every individual collectively. Today, the per-head or per capita carbon footprint of fossil fuel emission is highly unequal in different nations as shown in the graphs below (data source: https://ourworldindata.org/co2-emissions) with USA, Canada, China and South Africa figuring much higher than the world average.
In the name of development, the rise in CO2 emission in the world has gone berserk. The figure shown below are only fossil fuel & Industries causing emissions. While the average per year rise in emission has been increasing rapidly in the 20th century from 79.6 Mn tons per year in the first to 381.4 Mn tons in the second half, that jumped to 769 Mn tons per year in the first decade of the 21st century. A drop in the annual emission rates in the 2nd decade of this century is possibly a welcome sign of the various preventive and promotive efforts by the member nations esp the ones among the top polluters. A drastic drop in the year 2019-21 possibly shows the effects of various lockdowns of Covid19 pandemic.
Among the major economies or well-to-do nations, the 40 worst per capita polluters include Saudi Arabia, Australia, USA, Canada, Russia, South Korea, Poland, Japan, Belgium, Germany, China and Malaysia with tons of CO2 emissions as shown below. Hence, if the pollution tax has to be levied to the polluters, they are the ones who must be made to pay for building the kitty for the “Loss and Damage Fund”.
If looking at the cumulative CO2 emission made by the leading polluting nations in the world in the last 2 centuries, is UK, USA, Europe and China the prominent ones. It is true that the world is paying heavily for the indulgence by the few. This is why they must be made to pay for the damages caused by climate change.
Who Should be Compensated ?
There will have to be a logical approach to deciding the recipients for damages. Who should receive it? One must establish firstly that the claimant nation is among the vulnerable lot and secondly, that particular instance of damage is actually due to Climate Change and not aberrations and exceptions in their patterns of weather phenomena. There could be biases/pressure of compensation if the nation is part of major homogenous alliances/groups ie OIC, EU etc.
The damages caused by adverse Climate Change must be assessed by an independent committee before recommending an amount. It must also be seen if the nation sought international aid/support in tackling the event. The amount so sanctioned, should be under scrutiny for money laundering too. We are aware that flood-aid given to Pakistan in 2022 was partly exploited by LeT, JuD and some other Jihadi groups for the recruitment of terrorists for nefarious acts. Their terror finance mechanisms have been under strain following the FATF ban. Hence, they adopt all means to seek funds on various pretexts. Taliban in Afghanistan too adopt a similar approach in the name of aid for civilians but maneuver to divert it for own purpose.
The entire world has been going through immense suffering with the Covid19 pandemic caused by nCoV2 virus that was allegedly modified in Wuhan lab, China and escaping from there. It has devastated the entire world, rich and poor alike. They conveniently dodged any kind of credible investigations. They should have been made to compensate for all deaths and national financial devastations (Read ‘Corona devastations and the Chinese Culpability’ https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/wuhan-virus-corona-devastations-chinese-culpability/). Why is UN shying away from investigating and compensating those deaths and devastation?
Weaker nations have been undergoing devastations by war mounted by stronger nations for whatever reasons but no one talks of compensating the damages for losses of lives and properties. Ukraine, Nagorno-Karabakh, Tigray, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen etc have been facing the wrath of unjust wars to an extent that nuclear threats are looming large. The culprits invariably go unpunished and that encourages others to indulge in the same. Why the UNSC can’t hold them culpable and compel them to compensate?
The immense loss of lives and properties caused by the Jihadists in several parts of the world has been going on for decades but none have sounded for compensations by the sponsors of the terror. Their 9/11 attack in US, 26/11 in Mumbai, Church attacks in Sri Lanka, the horrific attacks on Peshawar school in Pakistan, several schools in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Nigeria, Sudan, CAR, Somalia, ISIS barbarism, many genocides in the mane of Islam etc…the list is exhaustive (read 'Major Islamic Jihadi Attacks in the World' https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/major-islamic-jihadi-attacks-in-the-world/). The official figures of Jihadi attacks and deaths are believed to be minuscule of the actuals, yet it is disturbingly high as shown in the figure below:-
The Jihadists are responsible for at least 10 million deaths the world over and nearly a million of abductions of women whose lives have been doomed. They inflicted the worst kind of sexual violence (on Yezidis) in the entire history of humanity. Most of these violence were/are against people who had nothing to do with Islam or their Jihad…just like the climate change victims who have hardly any carbon emission. …… So why is the UN mum about compensating the innocent victims of Islamic Jihad? There has not been even a single transparent investigation of Jihadi genocides/killings (read ‘Deafening Silence of UNHRC on Persecution of Religious Minorities in Islamic Nations’, https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/deafening-silence-of-unhrc-on-persecution-of-religious-minorities-in-islamic-nations/). Why should the nations producing Jihadists (the prominent being Algeria, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi, Palestine, Egypt, Nigeria etc) should not be levied with a penalty to compensate the victims? These Jihadists have enough funds to buy sophisticated assault weapons and explosives but they pretend of not having money to buy food which they expect the UN World Food Program to fund for free (read ‘O Foolish World! You must Feed me for Free while I carry on with Jihad’ https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/o-world-you-feed-me-free-while-i-mount-jihad/).
In the summary, it can only be said that the UN continues showing its biases in dealing with the global population while favouring one group and conveniently ignoring the others. There is no reason why only the Climate Change victims be compensated and not the Covid19, Jihad victims or the unprovoked war victims around the world. The time has come when the UN agencies have to be transparent in its approaches and be fair in compensating all types of victims falling prey to the ulterior motives of others.