By Chimwemwe Njoloma in Spain
Civil Societies at the ongoing Cop25 meeting in Madrid, Spain have strongly come out demanding wealthy countries such as America and the European Union (EU) to have a lion’s share in financing Loss and Damage due to emissions.
At a side event held on Wednesday organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Senior Advisor on Global Adaptation Policy for WWF, Sandeep Rai said currently there is no fund specifically for Loss and Damage which mostly result into governments to alternatively into other projects to cover for loss and damage because big contributors to emissions have neglected the effects.
“People’s fight for justice in their political, social and economic lives has moved centre stage, in parallel with the fight against the climate crisis. These struggles are fuelled by rising inequality, poverty and the impacts of climate change on the poorest and most marginalised communities and vulnerable ecosystems around the world.”
“We have little time to respond to the rising demands of people. If we are to avert chaos, rich countries must prioritise funding for loss and damage,” he said.
Rai added that wealthy countries behind the climate crisis must take for devastating impact that rising global temperatures is already having on developing nations.
“The first step is for wealthy countries to immediately begin providing public climate finance based on their responsibility and capacity to act, to support not only adaptation, but to also address the loss and damage already being caused by the climate crisis,” the Senior Advisor pointed out.
He said Loss and Damage should not be a standing alone thing. He said it should equally be given the attention same as adaptation and mitigation.
One of the panellists at the event, Co-ordinator for Global Campaign to demand Climate Justice, Lidy Nacpil Civil Societies need to be more daring in mobilising for this fund and said they would insist that wealthier countries accept that Loss and Damage is pathetic and give it the attention it deserves.
The Civil Society Organisations calculated countries’ fair share of responsibility using an equity analysis based on historic contributions to climate change through greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their capacity to take climate action based on national income while taking into account what is needed to provide basic living standards.
She said if financing Loss and Damage was easier to solve, they would have done it right away but unfortunately it is not hence calling for all stakeholders to hold hands and fight for its establishment.
“We know it is a battle we will need to fight hard and we are so much ready for it till. We will make sure we leave no stone unturned up until it is established and having the wealthier countries hugely financing it,” Nacpil explained.
Sharing Malawi’s position, Care International Regional Advocacy and Partnership Lead for Southern Africa also Malawi’s negotiator at COP, Vitumbiko Chinoko said Loss and Damage Fund is one of the important position Africa has taken and negotiating for at this year’s COP.
He said Loss and Damage cannot be adapted so it is important this year’s review include Loss and Damage to support cyclones and other related climate change related effects.
“Developing countries are already bearing the brunt of the human and environmental costs of climate change. Mozambique is among countries across Southern Africa currently experiencing a food crisis.
“The fund would greatly assist Malawi and other countries in least developed countries such as Mozambique and Zimbabwe to benefit channelling it to cyclone Idai and Kenneth effects,” he told the gathering.
Chinoko added that the adaptation fund leaves out the loss and damage so financing the fund would be a great achievement and another milestone in the fight against climate change effects.
“The fund will help to access loss and Damage because currently, we don’t have tools to provide guidance. The basement would help to come up with the gap report in loss and damage should parties agree to have rules for reporting loss and damage,” he said.
The report by the Civil society group, Can Climate Change –Fulled Loss and Damage Ever be fair endorsed by nearly 100 Civil Society Organizations finds that the US and EU are jointly responsible for 54 per cent of the cost of repairing the damage caused by climate disasters in the Global South.
It highlights how the world needs to establish effective responses to climate disasters, remake global food systems to be resilient in the face of destabilized ecosystems, and respond to increasingly frequent migrant crises in ways that protect the rights of those forced to leave their homes.
The report was released a week ahead of Cop25 having seen the need for governments to agree ways to provide climate finance, including through new and innovative sources such as taxes on fossil fuels and financial transactions, which can deliver resources at scale to countries on the frontline of the climate crisis.
According to the report considering countries’ responsibility for the climate crisis and their financial capacity to respond, it estimates that the US owes at least 30 per cent and the EU 24 per cent, compared to India’s 0.5 per cent.
It further suggests that, based on estimates of loss and damage costs in developing countries, new and additional finance of US$50 billion should be provided by 2022, rising to a minimum of US$300 billion by 2030.
The Civil Society Group consists of Care International, Action Aid, Oxfam, Christian Aid among others and in their review they re-emphasize the need for all developed countries to step-up and to take bold action to reduce the risk of loss and damage, and to address the losses and damages that communities are already facing.