A Better World Is Possible

30 November 2015

Now, more than ever, an ambitious Paris agreement can be a sign that a better world is possible. The new climate agreement must show solidarity with those on the frontline of climate impacts. These communities have suffered: 30,000 people are killed each year in disasters that are related to climate change.
Loss and damage is crucial for vulnerable countries and existential for some. Fourteen countries included loss and damage in their INDCs: Barbados, China, Costa Rica, Dominica, Gambia, India, Malawi, Myanmar, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Zambia. In Myanmar’s INDC they outlined the terrible damage that Tropical Cyclone Nargis caused in 2008: 138,000 people were killed, and infrastructure was devastated with a damage bill of US$4 billion, causing long-term socioeconomic impacts to the country.
At the last negotiating session, the G77 suggested a compromise (Article 5, Option 1) that would establish a solid basis for addressing loss and damage including a displacement facility for people forced from their homes due to climate change. Knowing that compensation was a no-go area for rich countries, developing countries excluded it from their proposal: a difficult decision, but one that demonstrates a spirit of compromise and good faith.
On the other hand, the extreme position from the US, Japan, Canada, Australia and Switzerland of no reference to loss and damage in the Paris agreement (Article 5, Option 2) is not an option if we want a fair agreement.
ECO looks forward to the EU showing solidarity with vulnerable countries, and joining them in reaching a compromise. Staying on the sidelines until the last moment, which is fast approaching, is playing a dangerous game. It failed at Copenhagen, and could fail again at Paris. Remember, Heads of State, we are listening to you today!

A Better World Is Possible

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