Less than half of Germans endorse climate damage compensation to poor nations – survey
Only 47 percent of people in Germany agree that high-income countries should take the lead on compensating low-income countries for climate change-led economic losses, one of the lowest support rates among dozens of countries surveyed in a poll by the Open Society Foundation. Germany ranked significantly lower than comparable European neighbouring countries, for example Italy (71%) or France (58%).The global poll, carried out between May and July of 2023, attempts to understand people’s views on various issues such as faith in democracy, support for human rights, perceptions of equality and justice, and of people’s major priorities and concerns. In Germany, 28 percent of people consider climate change as a leading global issue, significantly higher than the global average of 20 percent.
The survey included 36,000 people from 30 countries, including climate-vulnerable low-income countries, such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya, and highlights the difference between the perceived anxiety around climate change impacts and policy measures to tame them. The poll shows that around 90 percent of the people in Bangladesh and 83 percent in Kenya and Ethiopia are anxious about the impact of climate change on their livelihoods, while people in developed countries such as Germany (69%) and USA (56%) are less concerned.
The poll mirrors the international political tussle between high and low-income countries countries about compensation for loss and damages due to climate change. While the former have historically emitted high levels of greenhouse emissions, poorer countries tend to be disproportionately impacted by the negative impact of climate change. After difficult negotiations addressing the differences between the two sides at 2023 UN climate conference COP27 in Egypt, the loss and damage fund was established, an instrument meant to provide financial assistance to poorer nations to deal with negative climate change consequences. The negotiations around operationalising the fund and funding arrangements are expected to take centre stage at the upcoming COP28 in Dubai.