Developing countries behind growing push for stronger climate action in Warsaw

13 November 2013

[Warsaw – Poland] – November 13, 2013: Momentum is building for a mechanism to deal with the loss and damage caused by climate change to be established within the UN system, according to policy experts from Climate Action Network at the Warsaw negotiations. 

Sven Harmeling, from CARE, said more than 130 developing countries had put forward a proposal today for a international institutional mechanism that could, for example, channel fast financial support – beyond initial emergency relief – to countries devastated by climate impacts such as tropical storms.  
The mechanism could assess the risk countries face, and provide new knowledge to help countries cope with ever more extreme climate impacts and to rehabilitate environments and communities after losses are experienced.
“Now that developing countries have taken the lead, it is up to developed countries to seriously engage with this comprehensive proposal,” Harmeling said. 
The increased momentum behind loss and damage comes as the most vulnerable nations called for 2014 to be the year of delivering increased ambition on climate action. 
Greenpeace’s head of delegation Martin Kaiser said that carbon pollution levels had to be reduced now, not only to keep the door ajar to a safe climate, but also to boost political impetus towards the comprehensive global climate action plan that will be signed in Paris in 2015. 
“Here in Warsaw, rich countries can commit right away to boost deployment of renewable energy and energy saving measures as put forward by the Alliance of Small Island States,” Kaiser said.
“Failure to aggregate climate, renewable energy and energy saving targets here in Warsaw sends a cynical message that government leaders aren’t serious about climate action, but are handcuffed by the dirty fossil fuel lobby,” he said. 
The need to reduce emissions now was thrown into stark relief by the tabling of legislation by the Australian Government to repeal that country’s carbon price, said Julie-Anne Richards of Climate Action Network Australia. 
“Dismantling our already weak climate action measures is against our national interest not only because we are so vulnerable to climate change, with record breaking floods, fires and droughts plaguing the continent, but also we’re in danger of falling behind the rest of the world,” she said. 

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