Mia Mottley, prime minister of Barbados, said the prosperity of the rich world had been achieved at the expense of the poor in times past, and now the poor were being forced to pay again, as victims of climate breakdown that they did not cause.
“We were the ones whose blood, sweat and tears financed the industrial revolution,” she said. “Are we now to face double jeopardy by having to pay the cost as a result of those greenhouse gases from the industrial revolution? That is fundamentally unfair.”
She warned of a billion climate refugees around the world by the middle of the century.
“We need to have a different approach, to allow grant-funded reconstruction grants going forward, in those countries that suffer from disaster. Unless that happens, we are going to see an increase in climate refugees. We know that by 2050, the world’s 21 million climate refugees today will become 1 billion.”
About $2tn will be needed each year by 2030 to help developing countries cut their greenhouse gas emissions and cope with the effects of climate breakdown. The cash will be needed so that poor countries can switch away from fossil fuels, invest in renewable energy and other low-carbon technology, and cope with the impacts of extreme weather.
Poor countries have been promised since 2009 that by 2020 they would receive at least $100bn a year to help them cut emissions and cope with the impacts of extreme weather. But that target has repeatedly been missed.
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