Financing losses and damages prevailing in negotiations

Financing losses and damages prevailing in negotiations

Financing losses and damages prevailing in negotiations

“Treating loss and damage as a side issue is unacceptable because this is the reality that millions of people face every day,” said Harjeet Singh, head of global policy strategy at the Climate Action Network.

Fida Hussain |: Afp |: Getty Images:

The success or failure of a major UN climate conference is likely to depend on rich countries getting compensation, a highly divisive and emotive issue seen as the fundamental issue of climate justice.

The COP27 climate summit will start in Egypt on November 6. The annual UN Climate Change Conference will see more than 30,000 delegates gather in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss collective action on the climate emergency.

It comes at a time when there are growing calls for rich countries to compensate climate-vulnerable countries as many people find it difficult to live safely on a warming planet.

Reparations, sometimes called “loss and damage” payments, are likely to dominate proceedings at COP27, with diplomats from more than 130 countries expected to push for a special facility to finance losses and damages.

They argue that consent in this matter is imperative because climate impacts are becoming more severe.

Rich countries, although a significant part historical greenhouse gas emissions, have long opposed the creation of a loss and damage recovery fund. Many policymakers fear that accepting responsibility could trigger a wave of lawsuits from countries on the front lines of the climate emergency.

If we lose the agenda battle, we might as well come home and forget about the rest of the COP, because it will be useless in the face of what is happening in the world with climate change.

Saliemul Huq

Director of ICCCAD

Saliemul Huq, director of the Bangladesh-based International Center for Climate Change and Development, said he expected an “agenda battle” at the start of COP27, the outcome of which he said would be critical to the summit’s integrity.

Financing loss and damage mitigation is on the provisional agenda for the UN climate conference. However, policymakers must decide whether to make it an official agenda at the start of the summit.

Huq, a pioneer in loss and damage research and advocacy, says there are fears that once again rich countries will refuse to provide financial support to low- and middle-income countries that are highly vulnerable to the climate crisis.

US climate envoy John Kerry said Washington would not “impede” talks on loss and damage in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Bloomberg |: Bloomberg |: Getty Images:

For example, at COP26 last year, high-income countries blocked a proposal for a loss and damage financing body, choosing instead to engage in a new three-year dialogue to discuss financing. The so-called “Glasgow Dialogue” was was sharply criticized as a program without a clear plan or intended outcome.

Hook said during the webinar hosted by Carbon Brief that the fight to put the financing of losses and damages on the official agenda “will be the big fight expected in Sharm el-Sheikh”.

“If we lose the agenda battle, then we might as well go home and forget about the rest of the COP, because it will be useless in the face of what’s going on in the world with climate change,” Hook said.

“Now it is beyond mitigation and adaptation,” he added. “Loss and damage [funding] it is the most important issue that needs to be discussed, and if the UNSC does not do that, then it basically becomes redundant.”

“Litmus test for COP27 success”

The incentive to pay for losses and damages is different from climate finance, which is geared towards mitigation and: adaptability.

Mitigation refers to efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming, such as by switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. At the same time, adaptation means preparing for the adverse effects of the climate crisis by taking actions to minimize damage.

These are the two established pillars of climate action. Loss and damage financing, meanwhile, is recognized by many as the third pillar of international climate policy.

Fishermen fish on the Sava River amid heavy fog in Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022. Smog from ancient coal-fired power plants, antiquated cars, and heating systems burning tires and wood chokes the Balkans. literally and economically.

Bloomberg |: Bloomberg |: Getty Images:

Speaking two weeks before COP27, US climate envoy John Kerry said Washington would not be “obstructingRumors of loss and damage in Sharm el-Sheikh. His comments mark the first time the US is ready to discuss offsets at the UN climate conference.

Kerry’s openness to talks about funding losses and damages marked a sharp change in tone from just a month ago. Speaking A New York Times event on September 20Kerry suggested that the US would not be willing to compensate countries for the losses and damages they have suffered as a result of the climate emergency.

“You tell me a world government that has trillions of dollars for what it’s worth,” Kerry said. He added that he refused to feel “guilty” for the climate crisis.

“There is plenty of time to argue, to point fingers, to do something,” Kerry said. “But the money we need now has to go to adaptation, it has to go to building resilience, it has to go to technology that is going to save the planet.”

A man inspects a destroyed field in Ramdaspur village, which was hit by Cyclone Sitrang in Bhola on October 15 under Barishal division of Bangladesh.

Anadolu Agency |: Anadolu Agency |: Getty Images:

Proponents of loss and damage financing argue that climate impacts, including hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, or slow-onset impacts, such as sea level rise, that countries cannot protect against because the risks are unavoidable or because countries cannot allow it.

“This is the litmus test for the success of COP27,” said Harjeet Singh, head of global policy strategy at the Climate Action Network, which includes more than 1,500 civil society groups.

“Treating loss and damage as a side issue is not acceptable because this is the reality that millions of people face every day,” Singh said at the same webinar event, citing: devastating floods in Pakistan and: severe droughts in the Horn of Africa.

Singh said that political mobilization due to loss and damage financing makes COP27 the most important COP. “Now we need to make sure it delivers the climate justice we’ve been calling for by creating a new funding system so we can support people now facing the climate emergency.”

What is loss and damage?

There is no internationally agreed definition of loss and damage, but it is widely understood to refer to economic impacts on livelihoods and property, as well as non-economic loss and damage such as loss of life and loss of biodiversity.

“I think it means different things to different people, but in general I would see the idea as funding to address the impacts of climate change that cannot be avoided through mitigation and adaptation,” Rachel James, a climate scientist at the University of Bristol. – told CNBC by phone.

“That goes to why it’s so important for climate justice, because we don’t have the mechanism or the funding to deal with it right now, and it’s too late to ignore it.”

Financing losses and damages prevailing in negotiations

Why does it matter?

“Loss and damages are happening every day somewhere in the world and will continue to happen every day from now on,” ICCCAD’s Huq said, citing damage caused by Hurricane Yan in late September as a recent example.

“Ian is Florida’s biggest hurricane to date. But it’s not going to be right next year, they’re going to have a bigger storm the next year, and the year after that they’re going to have a bigger storm than that. So there we have it. we have now entered an era of human-induced climate change impacts that are causing loss and damage.”

“We have to deal with it, and we’re not ready for it at all. Even the richest country in the world, the USA, is not ready for this,” he added.

Paddy McCully, a senior analyst at the non-governmental organization Reclaim Finance, said that while loss and damage funding is likely to come up at COP27, no one expects significant progress.

“Given the geopolitical situation right now and the sharply different positions of the North and the South on losses and damages, I think it will be difficult for countries to make dramatic progress,” McCully told CNBC by phone.

“The sign of a successful COP will be that there is at least an agreement on damage and the mechanism to provide finance in case of damage,” he said. “And I think a moderately successful COP would be one where it doesn’t all collapse into north-south tensions, and you at least have agreement on further negotiations on the establishment of a mechanism.”



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