It’s appreciated (or even expected) when the firm’s partner picks up the bill for a new associate, or when a professor treats his student to lunch. Those who are more established and financially secure tend to lend a helping hand to those still making their way in the world. Apparently, this concept does not hold fast on an international scale, particularly when it comes to capacity-building.
Article 8 capacity-building measures aim to increase capacity in countries that do not have the expertise, tools, support, and/or knowledge to address climate change. Expectedly, the poorest countries are the most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, e.g., threatened water resources, the spread of disease, increased malnutrition, and agriculture. The countries that need increased capacities the most need technical and financial assistance.
So who is going to pick up the tab for international capacity-building efforts? Developing countries point their fingers at the large, industrialized nations that continue to play primary roles in climate change.
Developing countries insist, “it’s not that we don’t want to improve our capacities, but rather that our people tend to be uninformed, uneducated, or limited by national and financial resources.” They say, “you made this mess, now clean it up.” Developing nations firmly hold that developed nations should be required to help less able nations cope with climate change.
Developed countries respond, “it’s not that we don’t want to help, but we would rather concentrate efforts in on our home soil. But good luck!” Major emitters are not eager to share their resources.
Are developing countries hung up on historical responsibility? Are developed nations reluctant to recognize their role and responsibility in the current climate crisis? Upon whom will financial accountability fall when the Paris Agreement is finalized this weekend?