on 25th October 2013

Losing ground, losing lives: Tackling the Climate Reality

NGOs call for establishment of an international mechanism on loss and damage 

Today, the organisations ActionAid, CARE and WWF released a report at the UN climate conference in Warsaw detailing the establishment of an international mechanism on loss and damage, which aims to inform parties who are discussing it right now.

According to the three organisations, progress has been painfully slow since the decision to include loss and damage in the global climate negotiations was taken in Cancun in 2010. But in Doha last year, parties took a major step towards considering the establishment of an international mechanism on loss and damage. Now it is time to fulfil the Doha decision.

Tackling the Climate Reality, calls for parties in Warsaw to fulfil this promise.

Sven Harmeling, Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator of CARE International said:

“The experience of Philippines with Super Typhoon Haiyan is surely evidence that we are in the throes of an impending crisis. Thousands of people died and still suffer, despite the Philippines investing a lot in disaster preparedness and adaptation. The lack of serious attention to both mitigation and adaptation is pushing the world into the third era of climate governance, where the two pillars of adaptation and mitigation are no longer sufficient to respond to the challenge of climate change.”

“We need to establish the international mechanism here in Warsaw to deal with the unprecedented challenges we are facing. The mechanism is not just about providing finance to recover from climate change impacts that cannot be adapted to. It is also about generating knowledge and finding new ways to deal with non-economic losses such as loss of biodiversity, indigenous knowledge, human mobility, cultural heritage, ancestral burial sites, and so on,” said Harjeet Singh, International Coordinator – disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation of ActionAid.  “The report emphasizes the moral duty and legal obligation of developed countries to help tackle the climate reality,” Singh said.

“We are concerned about the lack of concerted action taken by developed countries to tackle climate change to date. We are also concerned about the future which might see a sharp increase in global temperature, with drastic consequences for poor people’s livelihoods and ecosystems. We are losing ground – in every way possible. This must be avoided through ambitious action on mitigation globally. Those who are the most responsible must take the lead role instead of behaving as if we had decades to act. We don’t have any time to lose,” said Sandeep Chamling Rai, WWF’s senior advisor for Adaptation Policy.

While the discussions tick along, climate change impacts are happening at a more rapid rate than ever, with grave consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable people, as they struggle to deal with lost lives, assets, livelihoods, as well as invaluable resources like entire eco-systems.

Collectively, we are calling for:

Governments meeting in Warsaw to establish an international mechanism to help deal with this unprecedented climate change loss and damage:

  • A Standing Body on loss and damage to be established and commence work immediately after COP19;
  • Operationalization of the international mechanism by COP21 in France, 2015; and
  • Developed countries parties to increase their mitigation ambition and support for adaptation immediately



ActionAid International is a global movement of people working together to achieve greater human rights for all and defeat poverty. We believe people in poverty have the power within them to create change for themselves, their families and communities. ActionAid is a catalyst for that change. www.actionaid.org

CARE is a leading humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. CARE is helping the most world’s most vulnerable communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. Last year CARE worked in 84 countries and reached 122 million people around the world. Visit www.careclimatechange.org

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries.  WWF’s mission is stopping the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change and a move to 100% renewable energy through engagement with business, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling green finance and working nationally and internationally on low carbon frameworks.  www.panda.org/climateandenergy

For further information, please contact:

Tricia O’Rourke, ActionAid International, Intl Media Manager, Tel: +44 785 03 1 2438

Sven Harmeling, Care International, sharmeling@careclimatechange.org or +49 (0)177 6136431 or Jo Barrett, press and communications coordinator, +44 (0)7940 703911, jbarrett@careclimatechange.org

Mandy Jean Woods, WWF Global Climate & Energy Initiative Head: Communications & Campaigns, mwoods@wwf.org.za, Skype: mandibles-sa, @climateWWF


CARE Newsletter
Interested in hearing from us?

Knowledge is power. Stay informed!