WIM review: guided by developing countries’ needs and strong guidance by the COP

24 June 2019

The Warsaw International Mechanism on loss and damage (WIM) is approaching its sixth birthday and Parties are busily negotiating the Terms of Reference (ToR) for its review. ECO has listened and clearly supports the views of those vulnerable developing countries that the WIM was set up for; who ask that their needs in addressing loss and damage should be a key guiding aspect of the review. And, to be honest, understanding this request is pretty straightforward and simple. ECO was happy hearing that some Parties suggested this should include consideration of particularly vulnerable populations and ecosystems, as well as better integrating gender concerns, beyond country needs, as has already been in the work plan of the WIM. ECO is annoyed about those developed countries who are resisting referencing developing countries” needs in the ToRs.

When negotiators hone in on finalising the ToRs, it is essential that they do so with the perspective to provide the COP with the information necessary to take immediate action to strengthen the WIM, in particular in relation to finance to allow vulnerable countries to deal with the losses they face. That is why substantive discussions on the way forward for finance, for an improved architecture and new sources of finance, need to happen between Bonn and COP25. Unfortunately, in the absence of clearer guidance from the COP, developed countries have resisted any meaningful discussion on those matters in the WIM’s ExCom so far. But communities in developing countries, facing large unmet needs, as illustrated by the constant gaps between appeals in the case of weather-related humanitarian disasters and the finance provided, cannot wait for the ExCom to just have more superficial discussions that circumvent finance issues. COP25 must be positioned to give clear guidance on this so that the ExCom €” and potentially other bodies dealing with finance €” will know the task it has to live up to in order to deliver much greater action and support for the benefits of vulnerable communities and countries.

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