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Obama Administration Fears USA Will Have To Pay Billions In Climate Compensation For Extreme Weather

Stephen Leahy, The Guardian

US officials fear that international climate change talks will become focused on payouts for damage caused by extreme weather events excacerbated by global warming, like the category 5 Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines last week killing thousands of people and causing what is expected to be billions of pounds of damage.

An official US briefing document obtained by the Guardian reveals that the country is worried the UN negotiations, currently underway in Warsaw, will “focus increasingly on blame and liability” and poor nations will be “seeking redress for climate damages from sea level rise, droughts, powerful storms and other adverse impacts.”

At last year’s climate talks in Doha, the US fought calls by African, Pacific Island and least developed nations for a “loss and damage mechanism” to channel finance to help nations cope with damages and losses resulting from climate change, such as reduced crop production due to higher temperatures.

The member nations of the G77+China, that includes most African and some Latin American countries, cannot leave Warsaw without agreement on a loss and damage mechanism, said G77 lead negotiator Juan Hoffmaister.

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