UN climate change talks struggle to deliver strong action on loss and damage
November 8. Bonn, Germany. On the 4th anniversary of the devastating typhoon Haiyan which struck the Philippines in 2013, three major civil society groups demand the climate talks (COP23) follow through on leaders’ promises in the Paris Agreement to protect people, their livelihoods and ecosystems from increasingly severe climate impacts. The attention to loss and damage has been growing over the years as it has become clearer that it is part of today’s climate reality, argues CARE International, WWF and ActionAid. Sea-level rise, glacial melting, ocean acidification, and more intense disasters like typhoons and massive flash floods are taking place today: they are no longer a concern for a distant future. However, an ambitious outcome on loss and damage at the UN climate talks in Bonn is far from certain, as governments discuss the draft of a work plan of the UN loss and damage mechanism and how to consider loss and damage in rules to implement the Paris Agreement.
Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International said: “Loss and damage from climate change impacts already sets back efforts of the poorest and most vulnerable people, especially women and girls, to overcome poverty. Governments at the climate talks in Bonn should adopt an ambitious work plan. This should identify new funding sources during the next two years that would help poor communities recover from loss and damage and integrate gender considerations across all its activities, which is not the case yet.”
Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Advisor on Global Adaptation Policy, WWF Singapore said: “COP 23 will be a litmus test for progress on loss and damage issues. Countries, especially the developed ones, need to step up on implementing the full functions of the Warsaw International Mechanism, especially on the enhancing action and support, including finance, technology, and capacity-building. The future of the vulnerable communities and ecosystems of the world are in the hands of their country negotiators here: It is time to deliver on their promises.”
Harjeet Singh, Global Lead on Climate Change, ActionAid said: “Having Fiji as president of this year’s climate talks makes the Bonn conference very poignant. The world is looking to them to take this unique opportunity to make vulnerable people safe from the impacts of climate change. Negotiations have now started, and developing countries have put climate impacts at the centre of the talks. Yet so far developed countries have been non-committal in their response. Fiji, therefore, needs to step up and show courageous leadership in their role as representative of the world’s vulnerable people”
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