The United States is, per capita, both the world’s wealthiest and most polluting nation. But when it comes to facing its responsibility for the calamity of climate change caused in large part by its outsized emissions, many are left asking: Where’s the climate justice?

The idea of “climate justice”—which transfers the well-known “make the polluter pay” principle to the issue of global warming—is that the wealthiest and most industrially advanced nations have also generated the most emissions and thus should contribute the most financially to the mitigation and reparation funds needed to offset the negative impacts of climate change.

However, as the idea of who should pay and how much has once again taken center stage at the UN climate talks in Warsaw, a leaked copy of an official briefing document on Wednesday confirms that the United States is attempting to shirk their “moral and legal responsibility” of making payments to an international relief fund. 

According to the Guardian:

Such redress was a hot-button issue at COP18 in Doha, Qatar where U.S. representatives lined up against those from the global South whose repeated calls for climate justice in the form of “climate finance” have thus far gone unanswered.

“It is not aid or charity,” writes Brandon Wu, Senior Policy Analyst with Action Aid, “it is a moral and legal responsibility.”

“While the global North holds only about 15 percent of the global population, it has created the vast majority of historical climate emissions—allowing it to accumulate 80 percent of the world’s wealth,” writes Aura Bogada at The Nation. “The global South is home to about 85 percent of the world’s peoples, has created only 30 percent of historical climate emissions, and has amassed only 20 percent of the world’s wealth.”