As the first week of climate negotiations in Glasgow wrap up, and things get serious, a major sticking point is reemerging between developed and developing nations: “Loss and damage” — the unavoided or unavoidable losses many countries are experiencing due to climate change. Historically, the U.S. and other developed nations have strongly resisted any discussion of compensation, due to the legal implications of admitting liability for damages, and a potentially very large bill. On Monday, a group of small island nations began exploring whether they might have legal rights to loss and damage funding from polluting countries, and Scotland became the first country ever to pledge funding for it, though only $1.4 million.
“This is a tangible way of saying that the world stands in solidarity with people who are suffering now,” Harjeet Singh, a senior advisor for climate impacts at the Climate Action Network, told Grist. “Yes, we are talking about 1.5°C, but what about people who are suffering at 1.1°C of temperature rise?” (Grist, New York Times $, Reuters)