A Fox Business host said he got a “big smile” when he heard that Australia backed out of its previous pledge to send aid to developing nations coping with climate change. His response comes as an official from the Philippines tearfully called for developed nations to make good on their promises to the climate fund in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan.
On November 13, Stuart Varney, host of Varney & Co., celebrated Australia's decision, saying he “do[esn't] want to pay” to help the Philippines and other developing nations adapt to a rapidly changing climate:
Varney's callous response stands in sharp contrast to that of Naderev “Yeb” Sano, a United Nations delegate from the Philippines, who announced at a U.N. climate summit that he is fasting until there are “concrete pledges” to the Green Climate Fund. Developed nations previously pledged to give $100 billion to the fund by 2020 in order to help developing nations adapt to climate change and reduce their own emissions.
The U.N. fund is intended to address a critical moral hazard of climate change: those who have contributed the least to climate change will suffer the most. The Philippines, for instance, is the third most vulnerable country in the world to climate change -- “particularly exposed” to “cyclones, flooding and sea level rise” -- yet it has much fewer carbon emissions than either Australia or the U.S.:
The climate fund would help the Philippines lessen its vulnerability to the changes that are already locked in -- changes that are projected to include stronger tropical cyclones such as Haiyan -- by implementing measures such as smart construction and a more effective government response that could lessen the deadly impact of future storms. (Varney selectively quoted The New York Times saying “it is difficult to link any single weather event to climate change” to claim that the recent typhoon is not at all connected to climate change. However, he left out the second half of the sentence: the editorial board continued, “there is little doubt that rising sea levels caused by global warming will worsen the dangers.”)
Varney is not alone in his callous response to calls for such aid. Many prominent conservative media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal's editorial board, scoffed at the climate fund when it was first proposed, saying developing nations simply wanted to “cash in” on “climate gold.”