COP26 must deliver on Loss and Damage Finance

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UNA LASER is among the signatories of the following letter to go to the Heads of States, Environment Ministers, President of COP26, Alok Sharma and the Heads of Delegations at COP26

At just over 1 degree Celsius of warming above pre-industrial levels, climate change is already causing havoc in countries around the world. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared the latest IPCC Climate Report a ‘Code Red for Humanity’, highlighting already overstretched and limited coping capacities. Loss and Damage – the impacts of climate change that were not averted or minimized through adaptation and mitigation activities – is already a lived reality for people around the world, violating their human rights and displacing more than 30 million people in 2020 alone. Poor and vulnerable countries and communities are least responsible for climate change but are already facing the majority of its negative impacts, in the form of both extreme weather events like hurricanes, and floods and slow onset processes such as sea-level rise.

The projected economic cost of loss and damage by 2030 is estimated to be between 290 and 580 billion USD in developing countries alone. Scaled up finance at a level commensurate with the need is therefore essential for vulnerable countries and communities to recover from the climate impacts they are already facing to rebuild their livelihoods and economies. While finance for averting and minimising Loss and Damage has been mobilised in the form of finance for mitigation and adaptation, finance for addressing Loss and Damage remains absent, apart from highly insufficient humanitarian aid.

Drawing on the recent research by the Stockholm Environment Institute’s research as well as a series of briefing papers published by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, we demand that the COP26 delivers on Loss and Damage finance by taking the following actions:

1. Decide to provide sufficient and needs-based Loss and Damage finance, in addition to the USD 100b per year committed for mitigation and adaptation, on the basis of equity, historical responsibility and global solidarity, applying the polluter pays principle. Loss and Damage finance to be provided from COP26 onwards and also in the post-2025 climate finance target.

2. Establish a process to identify the scale of funding needed to address Loss and Damage as well as suitable mechanisms to deliver the finance to developing countries. The outcome must be presented at COP27 to start delivering Loss and Damage finance.

3. Support developing countries in enabling national level systems to distribute Loss and Damage finance to ensure country ownership, gender responsiveness and self-determination over how finance is used, and so it reaches the populations that are most vulnerable and in need. This could be facilitated by the fully operationalised Santiago Network for Loss and Damage.

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Convening Organisations and Networks: Loss & Damage Collaboration (L&DC), Loss & Damage Youth Coalition (LDYC) and Climate Action Network (CAN), in partnership with Stamp Out Poverty, ActionAid, Practical Action and Germanwatch, with the scientific input of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).

Briefing papers series on Loss & Damage Finance: https://us.boell.org/en/unpacking-finance-loss-and-damage

Watch this powerful 5 minute video explainer on Loss and Damage – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahiVM4FzMyc

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