Insure Loss and Damage in the Paris Agreement

Delegates, as you must be aware by now (although some of you do show some need for additional lessons), loss and damage has a range of elements, including slow onset and extreme events, and financial and non-economic elements. And loss and damage will impact the poorest worst.

ECO welcomes insurance initiatives, such as the G7 initiative and boosters from the US, and acknowledges that regional insurance initiatives CCRIF and ARC have provided benefits to countries in those regions. However, we feel it imperative to remind Parties that insurance is not a cure for all loss and damage.

ECO dares you to try to take out insurance for desertification. Or for rising sea levels. No insurance in the world will cover you for such slow onset–and permanent– impacts. And for the extremely poor, private insurance is not an option. Who on earth would expect poor and vulnerable people to pay for dealing with all the climate impacts they didn’t cause?

ECO can already make some suggestions for elements to complement insurance: support to assess and plan for livelihood transitions, and address relocation needs to enable communities to rebuild, and not only physical infrastructure. In the face of relocation and loss of cultural and historical heritage, we should support post-disaster situations and reform humanitarian affairs to fit a world increasingly impacted by climate change.

The current text proposal on a process to explore irreversible and permanent damage seems like an opportune place to evaluate these elements and more that would complement insurance in the coming years. ECO hopes the proposal will stay alive long enough to fulfil this function.


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