During the 19th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19) in Warsaw November 16, 2013, the economic divide between rich and poor became evident as discussions began about how to help developing countries handle the damaging effects of global warming.
The Warsaw talks are scheduled to end on Friday, November 22, and so far there is not a global climate accord to be agreed upon in 2015 and to go into effect by 2020.
Extreme weather, caused by global warming, has led to catastrophic economic losses over the past many years. Over the past decade alone, losses have reached nearly $200 billion a year. As global warming worsens, experts expect this number to keep rising.
As the number of events increases, wealthy countries are more and more reluctant to keep footing the bill to help the third world countries recover.
Oxfam has estimated that climate aid has totaled between $7.6 billion and $16.3 billion so far this year. In Warsaw this week, Japan promised $16 billion over three years. In Norway on Wednesday, Britain and the United States pledged $280 million to sustain the world’s forests.
Green groups argue that much of the funds are not new sources of money and developing nations are concerned that there is no road map or agreement about how to assist ravaged countries in recovery after severe weather.