Suva Expert Dialogue: Day 1. What did we learn?

2 May 2018

  1. The gap is clear, and it is finance!  

    There was much stating of the obvious – vulnerable people on the front line of climate impacts don’t have the luxury of assessing their risks neither considering to transfer or retain them. As the representative of Suriname brilliantly reminded participants: if a whole city like Paramaribo is at risk, what can we do?

    Back to reality, we now need to focus on how the international community is going to raise funds to address those risk – at least $50bn a year by 2022. Some sources even foresee needs up to $300 billion a year by 2030.  This will definitely require innovative sources of finance like a Climate Damages Tax.

    The Tuvalu solidarity fund and the Ethiopian productive safety net program are good examples. International finance must scale them up and roll them out more widely.

  2. There was a powerful sense of déjà vu.

    The discussions that happened yesterday have already happened at the SCF Forum in 2016, in Doha in 2012, at workshops in Tokyo, Bangkok, Addis Ababa, Barbados and Mexico in 2012. Most progress done so far is about areas which developed countries prioritise, like enhancing understanding or insurance, but somehow there is amnesia around finance. The international community is failing to move to important discussions: sources, mechanisms and access modalities.


  1. Speech is silver, action is golden.

    Stop abstraction, we need concrete outcomes: a table on impacts, tools to address them, ways to finance these tools, and identification of gaps. To be sure all nice speeches are translated into reality, a clear roadmap listing the steps towards real mobilisation of support is needed.

  2. Today is not enough.

    By the end of 2019, parties must agree to set up the financial arm of the WIM, as mandated in 2013. Unless a miracle happens in the three hours today, we will need further discussions before the Technical Paper is due to be produced by June 2019. ECO suggests a first draft of the Technical Paper to be made available before COP24 for further consultation, with a second draft ahead of ExCom9.


Dear Delegates, we are out of time for further procrastination! The impacts of climate change are clear, they are being felt around the world, and those on the front lines deserve more than just warm words in endless dialogue.

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