Category: Current Issue

Loss and Damage Mythbusting

ECO has been a fly on the wall at a number of meetings with developed country delegations and has been … disturbed, shall we say, by the utter nonsense and misinformation delivered at such meetings. ECO wishes to address the misconceptions and present nothing but the facts on loss and damage.


Myth 1: There is no mandate for finance for loss and damage:

In 2013, the COP gave the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) a clear mandate for loss and damage finance. COP decision 2/CP19 says three times that the WIM will enhance or mobilise finance. The Paris Agreement Article 8 also makes clear that finance for loss and damage will be enhanced, or strengthened, on a “cooperative and facilitative basis”.


Myth 2:The WIM has been talking about “finance” by talking about insurance

To be clear: insurance is not finance. Insurance is a measure that you might choose to take with the provided finance; one amongst many activities that a country might decide on as an appropriate strategy in the face of loss and damage. For infrequent and extreme events insurance has a role to play – but overall a limited role. Vulnerable countries should not be paying insurance premiums to insure themselves against impacts from climate change – a problem they had almost no role in creating – it flies against the principles of the Convention, and against that of the Paris Agreement.
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Bula! See you at the Talanoa!

In recognizing the need to urgently enhance the action, we at ECO, along with the Parties, are quite excited for the 2018 Talanoa Dialogue. There is nothing ECO loves more than a good dialogue, especially one that will help identify new opportunities for cooperation, collaboration, and action. ECO believes that the Talanoa Dialogue has something for everyone, answering questions about where we are in terms of current action and pledges, where we need to be to reach the global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and a balance between emissions sources and removals by sinks in the second half of the century, and how to get there (solutions!). We believe the Dialogue has the potential to identify meaningful and timely ways for countries to accelerate climate action. There are significant opportunities to strengthen climate action in a way that can provide substantial economic and social benefits, equity, and help attain sustainable development objectives.


We need to collectively get on the trajectory for transformation and ECO looks forward to the Talanoa Dialogue delivering real change and action on the ground, both now and into the future. Enhanced action is crucial to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and support those most vulnerable., To do this we must aim for 1.5C.
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Patience pays off: Parties finally agree on Agriculture!

ECO’s head is still spinning from all the hugging and selfies in the Agriculture negotiations yesterday. And it’s no wonder. After five years of frustrating negotiations, the Agriculture working group has finally come to an agreement and forwarded a major new decision to the COP. Congratulations, Parties!

The newly agreed joint work between SBSTA and SBI will finally let talk become action. Looking ahead, implementation is the name of the game.

ECO is as stunned and thrilled as you are. After years of procedural and political discussions, we’re looking forward to talking substance and taking action on the real issues facing agriculture in the face of climate change – in particular how agroecology can play a key role in adaptation, and how non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture can be reduced. We wish Parties the best of luck in this exciting new phase of Fiji’s legacy on Agriculture.

Insurance Charity is Not an Option

Four years after the decision to create the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on Loss and Damage, Parties are discussing a five-year work plan, which should have been started last year. In Paris, Loss and Damage was finally differentiated from Adaptation. However, American, Australian and European negotiators keep arguing that they don’t see how Loss and Damage is different from Adaptation. Really?!


The reality is that we are living in a warming world. Each year we see the impact of extreme weather events increasing, wiping out decades of development in some countries. For instance, this September, 96% of Dominica was destroyed by two hurricanes in just two weeks. So far, the money Dominica has received is mostly humanitarian assistance, which was promised after tropical storm Erika two years ago. This money will barely cover the cleaning costs, let alone to allow the country to provide relief to its population and rebuild to become resilient enough for coping with more intense and frequent hurricanes in the future.


ECO hears that the new InsuResilience Global Partnership, which builds on previous G7 and G20 agreements, will be launched today. ECO resists any notion that an insurance-only approach is adequate to address loss and damage.
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Far from Climate Finance Goal, Farther from Climate Justice

On the Climate Finance Day of Action, ECO calls on the developed countries and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to honour their climate finance pledges up to 2020 and beyond. They should look at the climate finance pledges for 2020 they made themselves as the​ absolute minimum baseline level for support to reach the Paris climate goals and to enhance resilience of communities.

ECO is extremely disappointed to learn from this year’s Climate Finance Landscape Report that national climate finance went down. Plus, there are still several countries that haven’t even made a 2020 finance pledge (ECO is looking at you: Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden…)

In other bad news, MDBs’ fossil fuel finance went up from 2015 to 2016 – contrary to the urgent need for the Big Shift in investment from fossils to renewables. Given low levels of finance for renewable energy access, there is now more than ever an urgent need to phase out fossil fuel support. These funds must instead serve to boost renewable-based energy access.

Additionally, upon reaching the US$100 billion goal, the negotiations on accounting will be key to ensure that finance pledges are scaled up without dodgy accounting. Parties must not be allowed to double count for their pledges with other donors, but instead must agree on a more accurate method of counting adaptation finance.
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Eco 7, COP23, CMP13, CMA2, Fiji, Nov 2017

Eco banner, 1024x357


  1. FIJI COP HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT CHEAT SHEET: From Conceptual to Political
  2. Argentina Must Maintain G20s Climate Momentum
  3. We ain’t wastin’ time: Time to Get Real About the Adoption Fund
  4. Make our planet (gr)eat again – Why implementation of agriculture discussions is critical to climate talks
  5. This is Not a Drill: Geoengineering is on the Rise
  6. Getting the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform right at COP23
 … or read this ECO as a pdf


Welcome to Bonn, Ministers! While it would have been nice to be in warm and sunny Fiji, the beautiful city of Bonn has welcomed us with its first snow of the season. If the

weather is forcing you to take time away from statement writing for coffee breaks, we at CAN have taken it upon ourselves to provide you with a cheat sheet to make

your lives easier. While there is much talk on transforming conceptual discussions to technical

work here at COP23, many items seem to be at risk of becoming more political. Unfortunately, the progress made so far lacks the urgency required and we need your help to clear these

roadblocks. With two full days left of technical negotiations, we hope that your negotiators

work effectively as a team to manage this task. Here is a list of things that we will all be taking note of and assessing you on.


Talanoa Dialogue:

The Talanoa Dialogue is critical in determining our pathway towards achieving the 1.5 degrees

limit set in the Paris Agreement. Talanoa must be a process that will unlock further ambition in the pre-2020 and post-2020 period. Both the Fijian and Polish presidencies will play a major role in making this a success.
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Argentina Must Maintain G20s Climate Momentum

Like it or not, the G20 is an important political space where leaders of the top 20 economies of our world who account for about 3/4 of global emissions — make political statements that attract a lot of attention, particularly from the business and finance communities. ECO would like to acknowledge the great job that Germany did this year in making the climate crisis, and the implementation of the Paris Agreement, a core issue of its G20 presidency. Of course, this upset one country in particular (you can imagine who). But after very tough negotiations in Hamburg, agreement was reached and there were several climate related outcomes.


As far as ECO knows the next G20 presidency: Argentina, is committed to ensuring that addressing the global climate crisis stays on the G20 agenda. At least that is what Chief of Cabinet and President Macri stated publicly several times during the Hamburg summit including in the middle of a concert next to Shakira and Prime Minister Trudeau. No doubt about it, Argentina is in a great position to push for an ambitious G20 agenda on climate and energy: it was one of the first countries to update its NDC and is experiencing the benefits of renewable energy deployment like never before.
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We ain’t wastin’ time: Time to Get Real About the Adoption Fund

It seems as if developed nations spent the first week of COP 23 listening to the song “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay” by Otis Redding.


ECO is astonished! At this Pacific COP, developed countries have been wasting time looking for arguments to avoid recognizing the urgency to increase support for loss and damage. Are you going to sit at the dock of the bay while millions suffer the worst impacts of climate change?


ECO hopes that this week developed countries won’t just watch the tide roll in, but recognize that loss and damage is more than just an article in the Paris Agreement. Ideally, countries will come to a consensus on a transparent process that will allow future ongoing discussions on loss and damage finance.


Some of the richer nations seem to be resting their bones on the basis that they have plans to provide US$100 billion per year by 2020. This still remains a promise as the quality of all funds to be provided depends on how predictable, adequate, transparent and sustainable they are. Are rich countries forgetting the current imbalance on adaptation finance and the lack of adequate transparent rules to track their commitments?
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