Loss and Damage FAQ

2 September 2015

ECO is pleased that Parties have started substantive discussions on the important issue of loss and damage. Equally, ECO is glad to have been helpful to Parties with our debunking mechanism–as was mentioned in today’s loss and damage facilitated discussion, which dove into the hard questions. Key amongst them were:

If were creating a durable agreement at Paris, in the context of available science, how could we justify not including loss and damage in this durable agreement?

The answer for this question was given in the moving intervention from Dominica about the devastating impact of Hurricane Erika, supported by the many references by others to the need for finance for the impacts of climate change. Zambia also pointed out that the circumstances of vulnerable countries are likely to be very different in 20 or 50 years–some of these countries will face existential crises in that time frame. As the Marshall Islands, the US and others noted, this is an existential question for low lying countries–and not an end-of-century problem. It is real and urgent , and it is not going away. Vulnerable countries need certainty and they need permanence that we will deal with the threats to their existence.

Will developed countries accept loss and damage in the Agreement?

An argument that Parties would accept loss and damage within the Decision but not the Agreement only serves to reinforce concerns that developed countries are not treating loss and damage with the seriousness it deserves. If placing it in the Decision indicates you’re committed to it, then go all the way and put it in the Agreement. Demonstrate that it is part of our long-term commitment to dealing with climate change.

Why include loss and damage in the Agreement, when we have the Warsaw Mechanism?

The mandate for the Warsaw Mechanism is narrow and contested. Let’s remember that developed countries have argued against including finance for loss and damage in the work plan, despite it being included in the WIM. Any agreement needs to reflect the latest science and reality on the ground, requiring a broader and deeper mandate, including a comprehensive approach to managing risk and comprehensively addressing climate displacement.

How would the Warsaw Mechanism interact with the Paris agreement?

The WIM can do important work between now and the implementation of the Paris agreement, and this should answer some of the questions that Parties now have. It could also have a role to play in implementing the functions outlined in the Agreement, while remaining open to be changed if needed.

And, delegates, remember that ECO is always ready to help if there are more questions!

Loss and Damage FAQ

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