If Fred told you that he was paying $500 towards helping Ginger with re-pairs to her home, you may tend to think that Fred was a really generous guy. But, if you found out that Fred had run his truck into Ginger’s house, you might be slightly less convinced of Fred’s generosity. If you then found out that Fred was drunk at the time this event occurred, and that it wasn’t even the first time that Fred had drunkenly driven into Ginger’s house, in fact he was a serial offender, you might be even more disin-clined to see it from Fred’s perspective. And THEN you found out that Fred’s damage to Ginger’s house this time was way more than $500, plus the damage in the past, well suddenly the real Fred is revealed. It gets even worse, this $500 payment is already being counted towards Fred’s child support payments. Now Fred looks like the real dickhead he is.
This is a tortured analogy of the situation with the Warsaw International Mechanism’s (WIM) for Loss and Damage planned technical paper on sources of finance for loss and damage €“ rich countries are going to get to double count their aid, humanitarian and adaptation finance, in fact any money they think seems to vaguely smell of “loss and damage”, without any assessment of actual loss and damage occurring or the needs of vulnerable countries. Unless the terms of reference for the pa-per are changed, the outcome will be as meaningful as “Fred’s a generous guy, he gave Ginger $500” and will engender just as much trust.
The WIM has to really and truly start working on finance for loss and damage, to provide input into the review next year. It’s going to require the COP to push forward, rather than push it off.