From the devastating Atlantic hurricane season to catastrophic flooding across South Asia, 2017 has delivered harrowing reminders of the human cost and grave injustice of climate change. Loss and damage from climate change is not a future hypothetical but a growing current reality, affecting millions around the world.
AOSIS, LDCs, G77, Africa Group, AILAC – we heard you loud and clear at the opening of SBI and the past days’ consultations and couldn’t agree more! We simply cannot let this COP – the ‘Pacific COP’ – go by without real progress in action and support on loss and damage.
First, it is long past time to elevate loss and damage within the negotiations. This means making it a permanent agenda item of the subsidiary bodies and under the CMA negotiation process. We must link work on loss and damage to all elements of the Paris Agreement, including the Global Stocktake and the Transparency Framework, in a clever but effective way. Permanent agendas are critical because other than annual reports of the Executive Committee on its work, there is currently no way for Parties to oversee the larger Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM) aspirations or the achievement of Article 8 of the Paris Agreement.
Second, and most importantly, it is time to move beyond the mere building of knowledge and collaboration, and towards mobilising much needed finance and action on the ground to address loss and damage. The draft five-year workplan of the WIM is a start, but we need to go further. ECO suggests a two-year process to develop a range of instruments which can generate additional finance, at the scale of billions of US dollars, including through innovative and fair sources such as a fossil fuel levy as well as other means.
Third and finally, the WIM ExCom must be given greater resources with which to carry out its vital work and fulfill its mandate. ECO welcomes that this demand has been expressed in the L&D negotiations and expects that this will be conveyed to those negotiating the budget.
ECO urges that the draft decision text being prepared for feedback today address these priorities. Having listened to yesterday’s discussions, ECO is also of the view that giving additional guidance to the ExCom on these key priorities should not be confused with micromanaging. If the COP asked the ExCom to develop a work stream on enhancing action and support at COP22, and the work plan proposal by the ExCom does little to deliver on this, then the COP must act!
It’s time to listen to those on the frontlines of the climate crisis. It’s time for determined, focused and concrete progress on loss and damage. There is no legitimacy in delaying this to after 2019. If not now, then when?