Egypt, 7th November 2022: With the start of the Climate Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, there have been some reports that show the apathy of the developed countries with the most emissions. According to a report released on Monday by Carbon Brief, an organization working on climate science and climate policy, the US is responsible for 52% of the total emissions of developed countries since industrialization. It accounts for 20% of the world’s total emissions.

Despite the highest emissions, the United States is lacking in helping developing countries deal with climate change. Developed countries agreed to provide $100 billion every year as climate finance at COP15 held in Copenhagen in 2009. Carbon Brief estimates that the US should have given 40 billion of the $100 billion each year, but has given only $8 billion in 2020.

According to Carbon Brief, America has given about 20% of the carbon dioxide gas that has been emitted into the atmosphere so far. In second place is China, although its share is half that of America. US President Joe Biden had recently promised to provide 11.4 billion dollars for climate finance every year by 2024, but the US Congress has approved only one billion dollars for this year.

England, Canada and Australia are also among the countries that have given a low proportion of emissions to climate finance. Canada provided just 33% of its share in climate finance, Australia 38% and England 76%. Canada’s aid was $3.3 billion, Australia’s $1.7 billion and England’s $1.4 billion less than it should have been.

There is no official figure for which country is giving 100 billion dollars for climate finance, but Carbon Brief has estimated it at its level. With the onset of industrialization, it has also estimated how much these countries emit, and in the same proportion, it has removed those countries’ share in climate finance.

Developed countries first agreed to provide additional financial resources to developing countries in dealing with the climate change crisis in 1992 at the Climate Dialogue organized by the United Nations. From the beginning of industrialization to 1992, those countries were responsible for 46% of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, industry, cement, land use, etc. In 2020 too, those selected countries were historically found to be responsible for 40% of emissions.

Countries such as Japan and Germany have given more than their share in climate financing, but there is also a hunch in this. They have given more amounts in the form of loans, not in the form of a grant. The amount of debt has to be returned to the developing countries, which later becomes an additional burden for them. Germany has given 45% of its climate finance, France 75% and Japan 86% as loans.

According to Ulka Kelkar, Climate Program Director, World Resource Institute- India, “The amount taken as the loan has to be returned to the developing countries. Those countries not only bear the cost of the damage caused by climate change, but they also have an additional burden of debt. That’s why the climate debt in these countries is increasing continuously.”

Climate finance was formalized in 2009, and developed countries agreed to provide $100 billion annually to developing countries by 2020. But till now, not even a year has passed since he has given the full amount. The OECD estimates that in 2020, developed countries contributed $83 billion, and in 2023 they could give a full $100 billion.

As for carbon emissions, we have released 2500 gigatons of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere since 1850, according to last year’s estimates from Carbon Brief. To limit global warming to 1.5 °C, we now have only 500 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions, i.e. the ‘carbon budget’. The US has released 509 gigatons of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere, the highest since 1850. This is 20% of the total emissions. In second place is China, which accounts for 11% (284 gigatons) of total carbon emissions. It is followed by Russia at 7% (172 gigatons), Brazil at 5% (113 gigatons) and Indonesia at 4% (102 gigatons). Other countries in the top 10 include Germany (88 gigatonnes), India (85 gigatonnes), England (74 gigatonnes), Japan (68 gigatonnes) and Canada (65 gigatonnes).

According to a recent report by Nature Sustainability, just 1% of the world’s wealthy are responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. Nature has concluded this based on a study from 1990 to 2019. It says that in 2019 one person in Sahara Africa was responsible for the same emissions of 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide. In contrast, the average per capita emissions in North America were 10 times this. The top 10% of people in North America averaged 70 tons. According to the study, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times, the average per capita emissions would have to be reduced to 1.9 tons by 2050.