The United States will not pay reparations to developing countries hit by climate-fueled disasters, John Kerry, the U.S. special envoy on climate change, told a congressional hearing on Thursday.
Kerry, a former U.S. secretary of state, was asked during a hearing before a House of Representatives foreign affairs oversight subcommittee whether the U.S. would contribute to a fund that would pay countries that have been damaged by floods, storms and other climate-driven disasters.
“No, under no circumstances,’ Kerry said in response to a query from U.S. Representative Brian Mast, the Republican chair of the subcommittee.
Kerry was testifying at a hearing on the State Department’s climate agenda just days before he was scheduled to travel to Beijing for renewed bilateral talks with China on climate change.
The United States has backed the creation of a funding mechanism to address the “loss and damage” incurred by vulnerable countries as result of major or recurring disasters that was secured at the COP27 conference in Egypt last November, but the deal did not spell out who would pay into the fund or how money would be disbursed.
However, the U.S. and other developed nations had pushed for the inclusion of a footnote to exclude the idea of liability for historic emitters or compensation for countries harmed by disasters.