By Vishal Gulati
Small island nations during the ongoing UN COP27 summit, have said that highly polluting nations like India and China should contribute to a climate compensation fund to help countries rebuild after climate change-driven disasters, according to reports.
Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister Gaston Browne made these comments on Tuesday during the summit in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh.
As per media reports, Browne's comments are the first time that both India and China have together been clubbed as major emitters by small island nations.
Browne, speaking on behalf of the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) negotiating bloc, told mediapersons on the sidelines of the summit that though both India and China are emerging economies, they have a responsibility towards paying into a climate compensation fund.
Delegates at the conference agreed to put the topic of loss and damage onto the formal agenda for the first time in the history of international climate negotiations, reports said further.
"We all know that the People's Republic of China, India they're major polluters, and the polluter must pay," Browne was quoted as saying by reports.
"I don't think that there's any free pass for any country and I don't say this with any acrimony."
In climate talks parlance, the phrase "loss and damage" refers to costs already being incurred from climate-fuelled weather extremes or impacts, like rising sea levels. (SJ/IANS)