The United States has inflicted more than $1.9 trillion of economic harm on other countries between 1990 and 2014 by burning fossil fuels, a new study finds. The quantified economic harms could be used in international negotiations and litigation in relation to shouldering the costs of preventing future climate change and paying reparations for damage already inflicted, say the Dartmouth College researchers who authored the study, published Tuesday in Climatic Change. China, the second-biggest historic polluter after the U.S., caused over $1.83 trillion in damages over the same time period.

“Scientific studies such as this groundbreaking piece show that high emitters no longer have a leg to stand on in avoiding their obligations to address loss and damage,” Bahamian climate scientist Adelle Thomas of Climate Analytics, who was not involved in the research, told the AP. Recent studies “increasingly and overwhelmingly show that loss and damage is already crippling developing countries,” she added. Rich countries, including the U.S. have long resisted calls for restitution of “loss and damage” to developing countries harmed by climate change. “The costs of climate damages are mounting and ultimately someone will have to pay that cost,” ​​Carroll Muffett, head of the Center for International Environmental Law, told the Guardian. “The question is who will that be and how it will be done.” (The Guardian, AP, CNN, Reuters, Washington Post $, The Hill, E&E $, Grist)