All Promises: Time to Deliver on Addressing Loss and Damage

8 September 2018

Delegates, take a deep breath and think about the moment the gable sounded and the Paris Agreement was decided. The applause, the recognition, the enthusiasm for action! All those pats on the back! You lapped it up €“ you had worked hard! Well, the Paris agreement was about past work … and future promise. And now is the future. Time to live up to your promises!

Each one of the Articles in the Paris Agreement was hard- fought and finely balanced. Including Article 8 – the one that some of you (US, EU, Australia) would, incredibly, rather forget. ECO says incredibly, because if the UN Convention on Climate Change is not about obligation and solidarity for vulnerable countries facing the worst impacts of climate change WHAT IS IT FOR, EXACTLY?

ECO hears some of you (US, EU, Australia) saying “we have the WIM, we’re done here” and ECO calls bullshit. It’s clear that your objective is to push it into a body that you keep under-funded and under-resourced, where your delegates block progress at every turn (how about two hours spent discussing whether it is possible for the ExCom to have a conversation with the IPCC authors and not allowing an outcome) in order to stop real progress on loss and damage.

Article 8 is about more than the WIM. Not just in language – the Paris Agreement says “including the WIM” – not “exclusively the WIM” – but also in content. In the past five long years, the WIM has singularly failed to deal with one third of its mandate – enhancing action and support for loss and damage. And developed country negotiators in the WIM have explicitly said they will not deal with it until the COP gives them a mandate. You can’t have your denial and deny it too!

It is already been agreed in the CMA1 agenda to discuss loss and damage (yep – that pesky footnote!) – and you also have to dedicate space, time and effort to the ongoing work, namely the
agenda item should discuss:
– follow up to the Suva Expert Dialogue and mobilising finance;
– implementing the recommendations on climate displacement;
– and, very importantly, you must give guidance to the terms of reference for the Review of the WIM. You promised to do that in 4/CP22 2(d).

So many promises! Surely you must have realised at some point you would have to deliver on them! An agenda item to discuss loss and damage should be the absolute least ECO can expect of you at this point.

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