1 May 2018: The Bonn climate talks will include an important session on loss and damage finance (addressing unavoidable climate impacts that countries and communities simply cannot adapt to). While the formal process for dealing with these severe impacts was launched with the Warsaw Implementation Mechanism born at COP19, no substantial work has yet been done on how to provide the needed support and finance.
The Suva expert dialogue on loss and damage, starting tomorrow, will provide a platform to exchange experiences with solutions like risk insurance and social protection, and consider how to scale up successful efforts. It will also discuss both “sudden onset” events like storms and “slow onset” ones like sea level rise.
Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead of Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International, said : "The damage caused by climate change impacts, like heavier storms and more intense droughts, is already causing millions to suffer. The most vulnerable are taking actions to adapt, but outside assistance is needed due to the increasing severity of climate impacts. Governments at the UN climate talks must highlight potential solutions to ensure vulnerable people are better equipped with resources to protect themselves: Raising additional finance from those who contribute most to greenhouse gas emissions is a matter of justice.”
Historically, the call for compensation on loss and damage has been led by developing countries as they are both the most severely affected and the least able to cope with it in terms of finance and technical capacity. Work under the Warsaw International Mechanism so far has focused on expanding knowledge base, and the most vulnerable countries are increasingly impatient for attention to financing loss.
“This is a very important opportunity at this session and we need to contribute and to do the best to get meaningful progress on the issue of loss and damage finance. But we also need to see that just building up bigger momentum and finding a solution within this process and in the next years. Because loss is unfortunately only expected to grow and we need to rapidly scale up solutions to really help the people most affected,” said Harmeling.
One of the key outcomes of this meeting is advancing progress on the Paris “rulebook” – setting out strong guidelines that will translate the vision of the Paris Agreement into reality as a trustworthy, effective and fair regime for climate action.
Yamide Dagnet: Project Director – UNFCCC, Climate Program, World Resources Institute, said: “A weak or watered-down version of the implementation guidelines will undermine efforts to bring the Agreement to life, leading to lack of trust, tension among countries, and the risk of failing to pull together at the pace and scale required. Robust, fair, well-designed [guidelines] will catalyse actions, help us create fair opportunities, build trust, and guide us where we need to be.”
More than two years after the Agreement was drafted, there has been only limited progress on issues including details of a transparent framework for action and support, the rules governing ambition mechanisms, and concrete commitments to providing all countries with the financial and technical means to implement their climate action plans.
“We roughly have seven months left to adopt the rules, which is a titanic task, in view of the technical complexity and political sensitivities affecting its negotiation,” said Dagnet.
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