https://www.theepochtimes.com/rep-andy-biggs-would-reject-biden-climate-reparations-deal-as-speaker-would-mccarthy_4879733.html

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) opposes the Biden administration’s ‘climate reparations’ commitment to climate losses and damages, made on Nov. 19 during last-minute negotiations at the United Nations climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Yet, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Both Biggs and McCarthy want to be Speaker of the House of Representatives in the upcoming Congress. While McCarthy beat Biggs in a Nov. 15 internal vote among House Republicans, he still needs to earn 218 votes in a House floor vote on Jan. 3 to become speaker. He garnered just 188 votes in the Nov. 15 contest, suggesting he still has a way to go before securing the leadership role.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) talks to reporters before the House Republican caucus leadership elections, in Washington on Nov. 15, 2022. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“The congressman does not support climate reparations—they’re nonsense. This is not a priority for him, nor will it be,” said Matt Tragesser, communications director for Biggs, in a Nov. 21 email to The Epoch Times.

In response to questions about how, specifically, Biggs would put a stop to the financial commitment as speaker, Tragesser pointed to Congress’s authority over the budget.

“Since Republicans will have the majority in the House, it’ll be tough sledding for the admin,” he said.

The latest U.N. climate deal sets the stage for a “losses and damages” fund, benefiting countries alleged to have been harmed by man-made climate change. The Wall Street Journal editorial board and other critics have described the arrangement as “climate reparations.”

The details of the funding mechanism will be finalized at next year’s U.N. climate conference, which will be held in Dubai.

“This COP [Conference of the Parties] has taken an important step towards justice. I welcome the decision to establish a loss and damage fund and to operationalize it in the coming period,” said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, the former leader of Socialist International.

The Biden administration’s  Special Climate Envoy John Kerry previously vacillated on a climate losses and damages fund.

Epoch Times Photo
U.S. Special Climate Envoy John Kerry listens to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (on screen) during the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate from the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House, in Washington, on June 17, 2022. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s a well known fact that the United States and many other countries will not establish … some sort of legal structure that is tied to compensation or liability. That’s just not happening,” Kerry said on Nov. 12, as reported by Reuters.

Yet in a Nov. 20 statement, Kerry said the U.S. was “pleased” to be part of “a decision to establish funding arrangements related to loss and damage, including a fund as part of what many are calling a ‘mosaic’ of responses.”

E&E News reported that Kerry said he “welcomes” such a fund.

Between Nov. 12 and this past weekend, it became clear that Republicans would take control of the House. That means they can exercise significant influence on any spending directed to the climate losses and damages fund.

The Epoch Times reached out to the State Department to see if the Biden administration’s shifting stance has anything to do with that development.

Energy Expert: ‘It’s Purely Hypocrisy’

Kevin Dayaratna, a senior research fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis, told The Epoch Times that the latest U.N. climate deal is exceptionally hypocritical.

“What we’re seeing is a loss-damage fund for developing countries, for so-called damage associated with climate change, and the deal is, the plans are absolutely backwards. They’re actively discouraging the use of fossil fuels. And it’s purely hypocrisy because these developed countries, these wealthy countries, have acquired their wealth due to fossil fuels,” he said during a Nov. 22 interview.

oil tanker Mercer Street
Liberian-flagged oil tanker Mercer Street leaves Cape Town, South Africa, on Jan. 2, 2016. (Johan Victor via AP)

Dayaratna’s research has shown that the most expensive and aggressive climate policies appear to have little environmental upside.

In one recent report, he sought to calculate the costs of implementing Biden’s climate agenda. He found that a carbon tax would lead to the loss of more than a million U.S. jobs while curtailing the country’s gross domestic product over 18 years by $7.7 billion.

“Eliminating all U.S. emissions would reduce global temperatures by less than 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2100—wrecking the economy for a negligible climate benefit,” the report concluded.

“I think it’s becoming clear that there’s a lot of uncertainty regarding the climate alarmist policy agenda, where fossil fuels are actively discouraged and alternative forms of energy seem to be actively propped up,” Dayaratna told The Epoch Times.

“These policies are not going to meaningfully impact the climate either way.”

Nathan Worcester

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