Loss and Damage: Not a Side Issue
12 December 2014
Perhaps it’s not widely known, but ECO holds an honorary Ministerial post. And so it was pleasing to receive a letter from 85 civil society organizations from around the world calling for loss and damage to be recognized in the texts coming from Lima and in the 2015 Paris agreement.
The real Ministers, of course, also received the letter (but if not, we suggest checking your junk folder and your spam settings, or your staff may have put it in the reading file right behind the Daily Programme).
As the IPCC’s recent AR5 states, there are “limits to adaptation” at all levels of global average temperature increases including 1.5 and 2 °C. With the world still on a path to a 3° C increase and more, the impacts going
beyond those limits will become catastrophically worse.
The issue of loss and damage is a priority concern for vulnerable countries and for discerning Ministers (such as yours truly,
Vulnerable countries have not only done the least to contribute to the climate change crisis, they are also the ones suffering the greatest loss and the severest damage from its impacts.
An effective mechanism to provide financial and technical support to vulnerable developing countries and communities to address loss and damage is urgently needed.
This need will only increase as the impacts of climate change escalate in the years and
decades to come.
Whilst the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage was a good first step, and we are happy that there seems to be an agreement on the work program and the executive committee, we still want to see the 2015 decision text from Lima under the ADP emphasizing loss and damage as an independent issue.