Could the poorest countries in the world sue imagethe rich, polluting countries which are deemed to be responsible for climate change by producing excessive carbon emissions?

The Make Wealth History blog tells us that the Bonn Agreement in 2001 recognised that developed countries were largely responsible for climate change and should pay towards alleviating its effects in poorer countries, with several countries promising money, and which we haven’t paid.

It’s not the first time this question has been asked, it was raised in 2001 when a Stephen Timms (is this Stephen Timms MP? I doubt it as Labour had no policy on climate change in 2001) of the New Economics Foundation stated that under the UN international law commission’s draft declaration on state responsibility, US greenhouse gas emissions could constitute an international crime. It is estimated that climate change could cost developing countries up to £6.5 trillion over the next 20 years.

“..all industrialized countries whose emissions are, per person, above a sustainable threshold should be looking over their shoulders. The next message G7 heads of state receive from their poorer cousins may not be an invitation to a reception, or a plea for more aid. It may be much more abrupt: “We’ll see you in court for global warming.”

Make Wealth History asks:

“If we are demonstrably responsible for damage happening now, what’s to stop us being sued for our abuses? Does anyone know of a historical precedent for this?”

Such a case would be a legal minefield and drag on for years. Although it might seem an impossible thought now, whose to say it might not happen in 20 or 30 years time?