WHEN THE world's nations convene in Durban, South Africa, next month in the latest attempt to inch towards a global deal to tackle climate change, one fundamental principle will, as ever, underlie the negotiations.
It is the contention that while rich, industrialised nations caused climate change through past carbon emissions, it is the developing world that is bearing the brunt.
It follows from that, developing nations say, that the rich nations must pay to enable developing nations to develop cleanly and adapt to the impacts of global warming.
The point is starkly illustrated in a new map of climate vulnerability. The rich global north has low vulnerability, the poor global south has high vulnerability.
The map shows that many areas of Papua New Guinea are classified as being at high risk, and a few at extreme risk, and that it is likely to be the poorest sections of society that bear the brunt of exposure to climate related hazards.
This is witnessed by large slum populations present in many of the rapidly growing cities where residents frequently have fragile livelihoods and poor access to basic resources, such as clean water.