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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Minnesota public safety agencies reeling from weekend tragedy; Speaker Johnson faces critical decision on Ukraine aid; Public comment sought on proposal to limit growth in health-care costs; MS postal union workers voice concerns about understaffing, mail delays.

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Truckers for Trump threaten to strike over his massive civil fine for business fraud in New York City. Biden wants Norfolk Southern held accountable one year after an Ohio derailment and dangerous chemical spill and faith leaders call for peace in the Israel-Hamas war.

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Drones over West Texas aim to improve rural healthcare, the Ogallala Aquifer, the backbone of High Plains agriculture, is slowly disappearing and federal money is headed to growers of wool and cotton.

UN Preparing Fund to Aid Poorer Nations Facing Climate-Change Impacts

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Tuesday, February 28, 2023   

The United Nations is reviewing details for a loss and damage fund to aid poorer countries for the harm they will suffer from climate change's effects. Established during COP-27, the fund will help countries that have not contributed heavily to climate change, but are facing the effects of climate change.

While Virginia and other states along the U.S. coastline will face 10 to 12 inches of sea-level rise in the next thirty years, other nations are facing a different future. Smaller island nations such as Tuvalu or The Maldives will sink in the next century because of rising sea levels.

Sitashma Thapa, climate and energy program fellow with the National Wildlife Federation, said this fund is not just a series of countries throwing money at a problem in hopes it will go away, but a monetary asset for countries facing climate change's harshest effects.

"Given that developing countries that have suffered loss and damage incidents like cyclones, floods," Thapa said. "They do not have the financial capacity or their GDP is so low that the cost of the loss and damage incident has been, like, 60% of the country's GDP."

She said making the fund a reality faced challenges, including opposition from some countries. In particular, China has been opposed since th at nation is viewed as a developing country by the U.N. Many feel since China has worked hard at eliminating that label, their climate goals should reflect that.

While this fund is still in its earliest stages, Thapa noted there needs to be cooperation between nations to ensure this fund is made accessible. The U.N. has a goal of opening the fund sometime this year. She said that the U.N. cannot use a one-size-fits-all approach.

"So, I think that there should be different phases to this fund. Maybe phase one is dedicated to small island nations or coastal places where there's a really high chance of sea-level rise," Thapa said.

Thapa added time is running out, imploring the U.N. to do deliberate work. But, the U.S. has its own loss and damage to worry about. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the 60 major weather events between 2020 and 2022 cost more than $430-billion, meaning each year saw almost $145-billion in climate change-related devastation.

Disclosure: National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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