Japan, the world’s fifth-largest producer of carbon dioxide, watered down its target to cut greenhouse gas emissions in a move that critics say will set back United Nations talks to tackle climate change.
The typhoon that killed thousands of people in the Philippines has energized debate about whether rich nations should compensate poor ones for climate-related losses, a proposal the U.S. and European Union are resisting.
Annual economic losses from natural disasters have almost quadrupled in the past three decades, the World Bank said in a report that recommends investments ranging from early-warning systems to safer roads and buildings.
Islands that are most vulnerable to rising oceans are seeking an insurance program to protect against damage related to climate change, adding to pressure on industrial nations to increase aid committed to fight global warming to more than $100 billion a year.
Envoys at United Nations global warming talks are working on streamlining their negotiation process for the first time in at least six years, a step toward drafting a treaty by 2015 mandating more greenhouse-gas limits.
A bloc of 42 island nations said the European Union is backtracking on agreements made at the last round of United Nations climate talks in Durban, South Africa, threatening the environmental integrity of an eventual treaty.
The Maldives, Kiribati and Tuvalu risk extinction from rising seas because nations aren’t stepping up commitments to cut greenhouse gases, a bloc of 43 island countries said as United Nations climate talks began in Mexico.