It’s the finance, stupid

4 May 2018

The writing is on the wall – we need finance and (non-insurance) financial instruments to address loss and damage!


The COP has given the ExCom a clear mandate to use the Suva Expert Dialogue (SED) to work on enhancing finance (and other means of support) for vulnerable countries and communities.


Developing countries and experts were unanimous that we must find more money. Vulnerable people are currently facing “exploding risks” they didn’t create and are being left to pay for them. This must be reversed.


Various experts and representatives from Parties also noted with concern an excessive attention on insurance at the expense of stronger action on other, often cheaper, fairer and effective instruments. Labelling it a “magic” tool, as one expert from a developed country

called it, did obviously not match the perception of many in the room.


Developing countries continued to articulate their priorities: finance to be able to scale up instruments (e.g. through a such as a global solidarity fund) such as social protection schemes; relocation funds; reconstruction funds; alternative livelihood programmes; insurance premium subsidies to name few.


To deliver urgently needed resources we will need public contributions by developed country governments as well as the innovative sources of finance that many Parties and experts referred to – like a fair, equitable, polluter pays Climate Damages Tax, to raise the hundreds of billions of dollars necessary.


It is a pity that rich countries yesterday – with the exception of Germany – did not seem to view loss and damage finance as an important enough area to speak out on.  Where were you France, Switzerland UK, US, Australia, Canada and others? Does this mean you listened so carefully in order to now take action on what you heard? Or do you prefer to work against such action when the public is not in the room?


Next step: ExCom8 to agree the scope of the technical paper. ECO trusts it will reflect the issues discussed (namely: finance! How to raise it! How to channel it! Does the GCF have a role? What role for other institutions?). As Sudan, Botswana and others made clear €“ SED was not enough. We will need a draft of the technical paper ahead of COP24, and further discussions on the shape of the review held there, including open and transparent consultations with civil society and others.  More discussions are needed to ensure we are in a good position, with fleshed out options, ahead of the review which is scheduled to conclude at COP25. Hopefully this will result in much stronger action to address loss and damage.

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