Climate Envoy says US will not pay “Reparations”

During the course of a hearing before the US House of Representatives, US Climate Envoy, John Kerry was recently asked whether he intended for the US to pay climate reparations. Kerry replied, “No, under no circumstances.” The chairman of the committee he was before Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla, stated, “Very good, I’m glad to hear you say that.” He was responding to a placard in the room that read “what are you committing the United States to?… Loss and damage funding aka climate reparations” The statement has been interpreted by CNBC that Kerry will not agree for the US to contribute to the Loss and Damage Fund, currently under design within the UNFCCC. Another way to see it is that the US has always refused to provide finance under any agreement or terminology that uses the language “reparations”, which is a legal term imputing responsibility for harm and potential ongoing legal liability.  The US has been open to agreeing to replenishing various climate finance funds on the basis that the funds were for mitigation and adaptation under the Paris Agreement.  Maybe what Kerry meant that he would not pay into the Loss and Damage fund if the terms of payment were that the funds would amount to reparations. We will find out at COP28.

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