Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt – The richest, historically most polluting countries are blocking progress at COP27 on establishing the Loss and Damage finance facility that is urgently needed, and called for, by developing countries, according to Greenpeace International analysis. This is despite funding arrangements for responding to Loss and Damage being an agreed agenda item.
In the climate talks, developed nations are consistently using delay tactics to ensure that no agreement is reached until at least 2024 regarding solutions on Loss and Damage financing arrangements. In addition, the group of blockers have not made any proposals to guarantee that a dedicated Loss and Damage fund or facility under UNFCCC with new and additional sources of money will ever be set up.
Developing countries, on the whole, are calling for agreement this year for a new fund or facility to be established under the UNFCCC for dedicated Loss and Damage funding that is from new and additional sources to respond to increasingly devastating and more frequent climate impacts. Many are also saying that this should take no later than 2024 to operationalise, after an agreement this year to establish it. Developing countries are also proposing that the Loss and Damage entity would be located under the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC, similar to the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility.
The EU appears to be starting to listen to some of the demands from developing countries, while the US, New Zealand, Norway and COP31 host hopefuls Australia, among others, are the most visible blockers.
In his opening speech in Sharm el-Sheikh, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said getting concrete results on Loss and Damage is a “litmus test” of the commitment of governments to the success of COP27.
Leading global experts from the natural and social sciences, including Prof. Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, stated in a report released for COP27 that Adaptation alone cannot keep up with the impacts of climate change, which are already worse than predicted.
Hon. Seve Paeniu, Finance Minister of Tuvalu said: “My home, my country, my future, Tuvalu is sinking. Without climate action, crucially on an agreement for a dedicated facility for Loss and Damage under the UNFCCC here at COP27, we could be seeing the last generation of children to grow up in Tuvalu. Fellow negotiators, your delay is killing my people, my culture but never my hope.”
Ulaiasi Tuikoro, representative of the Pacific Youth Council, said: “Loss and damage in my world isn’t about talks and debates once a year. Our lives, our livelihoods, our lands, and our cultures are being damaged and lost to climate change. We want Australia to be part of our Pacific family in a meaningful way. We want to proudly host COP31 with Australia. But to do so, we need the commitment and support of our neighbours on what we have been calling for for thirty years. We need Australia to support a Loss and Damage finance facility at COP27.”
Rukia Ahmed, climate youth activist from Kenya, said: “I am so frustrated and angry as my community is right now suffering the impacts of climate change while rich country leaders go around in circles about Loss and Damage. My community is pastoralist and we are living in extreme poverty due to climate change. Children are dying from malnutrition. Schools are closing due to floods. Livestock lost to extreme droughts. My community is killing each other over limited resources. This is the reality of loss and damage, and the Global North is responsible. Global North leaders must stop blocking Loss and Damage finance.”
Sônia Guajajara, congresswoman elected in Brazil for a 2023-2026 mandate and indigenous leader, said: “It’s easy to have endless discussions about mitigation and adaptation when you are not under threat, losing your land and your home. We cannot have climate justice without social justice – that means everyone having a fair, safe and clean future and the right to their land guaranteed. Indigenous peoples across the world must be at the heart of any climate finance discussions and decision, and not an afterthought. That’s something we have been demanding for a long time and it’s time for our voices to be heard.”
Harjeet Singh, Head, Global Political Strategy, Climate Action Network International said: “Rich nations’ act of tokenism on delivering finance at the Sharm El-Sheikh climate conference is unacceptable. They cannot delay meeting their obligations to help communities rebuild and recover from recurring climate disasters.The urgency of this crisis requires COP27 to adopt a decision to set up a new Loss and Damage Fund that can be operationalised by the next year. The demand from the united bloc of developing countries representing over 6 billion people can no longer be ignored.”
Yeb Saño, Greenpeace International’s COP27 Head of Delegation, said: “Rich countries are rich for a reason, and that reason is injustice. All the talk of deadlines and complexities about Loss and Damage is just code for climate delay, which is disappointing but not surprising. How to restore the trust lost between the Global North and Global South? Five words: Loss and Damage Finance Facility. As I said in 2013 in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan at the Warsaw COP: We can stop this madness. Developing countries must stay firm in demanding that a dedicated Loss and Damage finance facility is agreed.”
Mr Saño, the lead climate change envoy of the Philippines for COP19 in Poland, 2013, undertook a fast calling for a Loss and Damage mechanism.
Notes to Editors:
Greenpeace International analysis on COP27 Loss and Damage negotiations, based on transcriptions by civil society representatives.
Loss and Damage funding arrangements were agreed as a COP27 agenda item on 6 November 2022.
The “10 New Insights in Climate Science” presents key insights from the latest climate change-related research this year and responds to clear calls for policy guidance during this critical decade. The report was launched by the international networks Future Earth, The Earth League and World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) at COP27.
‘Cooperate or perish’: At COP27 UN chief calls for Climate Solidarity Pact, urges tax on oil companies to finance Loss and Damage.
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