While being a bad idea on the PR side of things... They are doing this so to try and force the righties to accept climate change as factual (which it is) and that we MUST change our ways with the production of polution. (individualized travel. pricing housing in cities beyond what the wage can pay. other)
The problem is an equal restriction on climate policies would heavily disadvantage nations who do not have alternative energy sources. You have countries like India and China that are consuming huge chunks of coal to keep furnaces going for all their people (two most populated countries on the face of the Earth) and only recently China's energy consumption outweighed the State's because of the manufacturing boom and if we do it per population the States actually consume more per person. Compared to the States, China seems to be having a gas shortage taking in it's GDP and population and parts of India are still not on the grid. There are investments being made into wind, hydro, and solar out there, but not to the same degree as there are in say Germany or the States. Yet they have these huge deposits of coal, what else are they gonna burn? Never mind Somalia or Sierra Lione, China and India are livable places in western standards and they have problems.
So basically the problem is, we're having a our water is getting shitty crisis, everyone else is having a keep everyone warm crisis. If anything would help is to convince engineers and investors that selling alternative energy sources to energy starved nations would be a good idea.
The problem with this is that there's no real metric for establishing who's to blame and who should pay, so this will become a laywer's playground and benefit nobody else. Given the total failure of climate protocols, and the paranoia in regards to nuclear power, I expect that within fifty years some nation will decide to solve the problem on its own and start some geo-engineering project to save itself. This will, of course, cause a war.
"So how do people feel about the concept of richer nations compensating poorer ones for damages due to the argument that rich nations have polluted more throughout history and have the ability to compensate?"
ALong with many anti-pollution protocols have allowed for exemptions for developing nations.
ALl this has done is export western problems elsewhere while killing western jobs.
Perhaps it's less about reparation and more like a show of good faith.
As you said, it would take a unified effort to tackle this problem. That means to eventually include all developing nations in any restrictions to emissions/ pollution/ etc.
An argument can be made that developed nations have already had a chance to become wealthy by exploiting the environment. With that in mind, it might not be reasonable to ask developing nations to miss out on their chance to do the same without some offering some kind of compensation. This at least buys some diplomatic capital to get more developing countries involved reducing their emission/ pollution levels. It also creates a moral high ground from which to sanction delinquent nations.
Of course, I live in a developing nation myself (a storm-ravaged island-nation, no less) so my opinion may be biased. Please take it with a grain of salt.
Developing nations claim rising emitions will hamr them, hence wanting compensation. Why would they want compensation for rising emissions so that they can use that compensation to then add to the thing they claim is the problem in the first place? It's hypocrisy.
I have to agree. I think nations that are in real danger should get support (it will benefit richer nations in the long run if the world doesn't get destabilised by mass migrations) but assigning guilt for this seems unjust.