Since when did the victims have to pay?

10 June 2015

Here’s some real talk: the price of climate change-induced loss and damage is already being felt in developing countries. When Cyclone Pam damaged or destroyed 80% of structures in Vanuatu, and tore through the neighbouring Pacific Islands of Tuvalu and Kiribati—loss and damage was experienced across the whole economy. Damage was inflicted upon people’s homes, offices and schools. Locals lost most of their crops and were left with only a few weeks worth of food supplies.

The costs of loss and damage are projected to be huge. The recent UNEP/AMCEN report Africa’s Adaptation Gap 2 estimates that loss and damage will cost twice as much as adaptation across Africa. Yes, delegates, you read that right–twice as much! The loss and damage finance gap is, and will be, huge. We will need many sources of finance to fill it. This will include public finance from treasuries, contributions from financial transaction taxes, transport fuel levies, emissions trading scheme levies and much more.

ECO is particularly fond of a new source of finance that would hit those responsible for causing the climate loss and damage costs—the fossil fuel industry. A global fossil fuel extraction levy, applied at the ridiculously low price of US$2 a tonne of CO2e, could easily generate $50 billion a year. The levy, and the amount generated, would obviously need to increase substantially year on year as we phase out fossil fuels. A fossil fuel extraction levy shifts the cost of fossil fuels from the victims to the industry that profits from them.

Since when did the victims have to pay?

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