Fossil of the Day

13 November 2017


The US, Australia, Canada and the EU receive the Fossil of the Day for refusing to get serious about loss and damage finance.


For all the policy geeks out there, while decision 2/CP19 provides the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) with a mandate to “enhance”, “facilitate”, “mobilize” and ‘secure” finance for loss and damage, in the negotiating room, our fossil recipients, consistently refer it to the Standing Committee on Finance or even higher levels, where it is also absent from the discussion. Basically, they were seeking to twist, water down, and delete references to finance from the loss and damage decision text.


We would have thought that the US Administration – with its own territory of Puerto Rico still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria €“ would, perhaps, have rediscovered at least one empathic bone in its body. But apparently, this was waaaaay too much to ask for; as it aggressively led the charge to delete references to finance in the loss and damage text. Some might think this level of intervention was a bit rich coming from a country that has talked about pulling out of the Paris Agreement, but it looks like they plan on taking others down with them.


Australia has long lacked many things €“ sympathy, support, and solidarity among them €“ with its Pacific Island neighbors (flashback to Day 2 anyone?), but these bullying tactics are over the line, even for them.


And Canada – we had hopes! At the beginning, you were so amazing in standing up for civil society and proposed newly-constructive ways to advance on this urgent matter. Why join with your Annex 1 friends in this shameful way on the issue of finance? We expect you to move closer to the good side, and then stay. It’s nice here, we promise, and you”ll be warmly welcomed!


EU – really? We can’t say we’re surprised. But disappointed, yes. You stepped up to assist Fiji in hosting the COP – now vulnerable countries need you to step up on the vital and super important issue of providing finance to the most vulnerable people on the front line of the worst climate impacts.


At this Pacific COP, with many Caribbean Islands in ruins and other devastating climate impacts around the world, we need solidarity from rich countries. We need you to live up to the promises made in 2013 in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, and the promises made in the Paris Agreement. Don’t let six years go by before you do anything to live up to your promises at Warsaw. Put in place a two-year workplan on loss and damage finance. This week. In your heart of hearts, you know it’s the right thing to do€¦right?

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