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Citizens Support Compensating Low-income Countries Affected By Climate Change-Survey :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Citizens Support Compensating Low-income Countries Affected By Climate Change-Survey

Most respondents from the European Union, the United States, China and Japan believe their countries should compensate developing nations for climate change impacts.
28 Nov 2023 14:14
Trees in the flooded areas of River Nyamwamba drying. Institutions like the IMF and World Bank are urged to boost funding for African nations facing conflict, climate change. Credit Wambi Michael/URN
A majority of citizens from the most industrialized nations suggest their governments should compensate low-income countries affected by climate change.

Results of a survey by the European Investment Bank (EIB) show that most respondents would be willing to pay higher income taxes to help lower-income households cope with the costs of the green transition.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) on Tuesday launched the sixth edition of its Climate Survey conducted between August and September 2023.

Running since 2018, the EIB Climate Survey offers insights into the climate change-related views of people in major economies around the world, with more than 30,000 respondents in the European Union, the United States, China, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, UAE, Canada and South Korea.

Most respondents from the European Union, the United States, China, and Japan believe their countries should compensate developing nations for climate change impacts.

On the question of compensation to developing countries to help them deal with the impacts of climate change — expected to be a central topic at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai (COP28) —the survey shows that the global demand for fairness extends beyond national borders.

Taxes to support a just transition

The survey results show that most respondents would be willing to pay higher income taxes to help lower-income households cope with the costs of the green transition (European Union: 59%; United States: 67%; China: 90%; India: 89%; and Japan: 58%).

More specifically, 46% of EU respondents said they would agree to pay 1-2% more (United States: 40%; China: 59%; India: 45%; and Japan: 45%), and 13% of EU respondents would agree to pay as much as 5-10% more (United States: 27%; China: 31%; India: 44%; and Japan: 13%).

The vast majority of respondents also said they would be in favor of other kinds of environment-related taxes. For example, 74% of EU respondents said they would favor a fossil fuel tax reform (United States: 78%; China: 94%; India: 92%; and Japan: 71%) to eliminate subsidies and tax breaks for the aviation sector and other industries that rely heavily on fossil fuels.

European Investment Bank (EIB), Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, who is responsible for climate action and development at the Bank said the Climate Survey underlines people’s profound awareness of climate change and their commitment to tackling it head-on.

“They recognize that a successful transition to a climate-neutral world goes hand in hand with addressing social and economic inequalities at home and globally. At the European Investment Bank, we are fully committed to supporting a just transition that leaves no one behind. Solidarity and actionable measures are more important now than ever,” Fayolle is quoted in a statement.

Meanwhile, Laura Sabogal Reyes, Senior Policy Advisor at EIB said theinsights of the 2023 EIB Climate Survey leave no doubt.

“The global green transition will not be successful without addressing economic and social inequalities head-on. Public Development Banks must play a crucial role in ensuring that the transition to a more sustainable and inclusive future is equitable and just, leaving no one behind,” Sabogal Reyes.

Conscious of historical responsibility, most respondents from the European Union (60%), the United States (63%), China (74%), and Japan (72%) agree that their countries should financially compensate affected countries to help them fight climate change.

Most respondents say that the transition to a carbon-neutral global economy can only succeed if it also addresses inequalities (European Union: 68%; United States: 56%; China: 59%; India: 59%; and Japan: 62%). Most respondents from the European Union, the United States, China, and Japan believe their countries should compensate developing nations for climate change impacts.

The citizens’ views from those countries may sound like music to the G77+Chine group of negotiators heading to the UN Climate Change Conference that opens at the end of his week in Dubai.

The G77 and China bloc of 132 countries including Uganda. The group fought hard in pushing for climate compensation at last year’s UN climate change conference in Egypt. For more than 30 years, developing countries have been calling for specific funding - known as ‘loss and damage’ - to cope with the disasters.

By the end of the conference, a clause on loss and damage had been adopted. Climate change impacts and environmental degradation top the list of perceived challenges in India and China, while they are a close second to the cost of living in the European Union, the United States, and Japan.

A clear majority of all respondents except those in Japan believe that measures to combat climate change will improve people’s daily lives, including the quality of food and health (European Union: 61%; United States: 66%; China: 69%; India: 65%; and Japan: 47%).

European and Japanese respondents are split on whether the green transition will create or eliminate jobs (51% and 49%, respectively) while their American, Chinese, and Indian counterparts are more optimistic (57%, 70%, and 63%, respectively) and believe net additional jobs will be created.  

Through its Climate Bank Roadmap, the EIB Group aims to support €1 trillion of investment in climate action and environmental sustainability through the critical decade 2021-2030.