Poorer Countries Ask Richer Countries to Pay for Damages from Climate Change

January 6, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. mechanism (n.) 
[mek-uh-niz-uhm]– a system or process that aims to reach a goal
Example: The government must educate the public about the mechanism of taxation and its benefits to the community.

2. developing country (n.) [dih-vel-uh-ping- kuhn-tree]– a country which has lower living standards compared to other countries
ExampleDeveloping countries mostly rely on farming or agriculture.

3. developed country (n.) [dih-vel-uhp- kuhn-tree]– a country which has high living standards and advanced technology
ExampleDeveloped countries used to be very rich but now have problems with their economies.

4. recover (v.) [ree-kuhv-er]– to get back to the previous or normal state
Example: Many people wonder if Europe’s failing economy will recover soon.

5. proposed (adj.) [pruh-pohz]– planned or suggested
Example: The proposed budget for the year 2013 was approved by the president.

Read the text below.

In Doha, Qatar, almost 200 countries met to discuss a new United Nations (UN) mechanism for addressing climate change. The new mechanism will require developed countries to pay developing countries for damages caused by climate change-related disasters, such as rising sea levels and long periods without rain.

Developed countries produce large amounts of waste and harmful gases that contribute to climate change. Climate change has been blamed for making storms more powerful.

For example, in the Philippines, last December’s typhoon Bopha killed 540 people. In 2004, the island country of Grenada experienced hurricane Ivan, which killed 39 people and caused damage costing twice the amount Grenada earns in a year. If the new UN mechanism is approved, it will help developing countries such as these recover from disasters.

However, the head of the UN Development Program, Helen Clark, warns developing countries not to expect too much from developed countries. Many Western countries are currently stressed by economic problems and want to avoid spending more money.

In the UN forum, developed nations were not willing to agree to the proposed mechanism.

The United States insisted that the only support developed nations can provide is the $100 billion promised in a previous UN meeting. The $100 billion will be available in 2020 and will help poor countries affected by global warming.

The UN meeting in Doha ended with countries agreeing to extend the Kyoto Protocol and to set up a new international mechanism this year for dealing with climate change, although money issues were not yet agreed on.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         Should developed countries pay for the damages caused by climate change in developing countries? Why or why not?
·         How can countries with different interests and viewpoints solve international problems?

Discussion B

·         What steps has your country taken to address the issue of climate change?
·         In our own way, how can we help address problems brought by climate change?


January 6, 2013