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COP 23: ‘Island’ climate summit goes soft on ‘loss and damage’

/ 11:29 PM November 17, 2017

BONN Germany —The UN-led climate conference comes to a close today in Bonn, Germany, as negotiations on contentious issues such as ‘loss and damage’ reach a weak conclusion, despite vulnerable country Fiji hosting the talks.

Action Aid global lead on climate, Harjeet Singh, slammed the soft position adopted by Fijian prime minister and current COP (Conference of the Parties) president Frank Bainimarama on ‘loss and damage.’

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The Fiji prime minister had been vocal for his support to push for loss and damage in the talks.

“But even though vulnerable communities were in the spotlight, this still hasn’t translated into the support that they need,” Singh said.

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‘Loss and damage’ are the irreversible costs of climate change such as deaths due to extreme weather events and sinking islands caused by rising sea levels. The agenda was included in the Warsaw climate talks of 2013 as the world saw horrific images of the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas.

Since then, not much progress has been achieved in funding for loss and damage in the succeeding climate talks.

Singh said that developing nations had demanded the inclusion of a permanent agenda item at the COP to discuss finance for loss and damage but instead were only given a one-off “expert dialogue” in the decision—an action perceived to be vague by civil society actors.

Singh said that the US, EU, Canada and Australia have failed climate vulnerable countries for blocking discussions on finance for loss and damage.

Australia and the EU had argued that “not all disasters are caused by climate change” in a negotiation last week.

“It seems that the world is not yet ready to offer hope to people facing the impacts of climate change.” Singh said.

Climate negotiators and world leaders attended a 12-day climate summit to craft the rulebook for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

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The Paris Agreement is a climate accord that seeks to keep global temperatures from rising well below 2˚C  by cutting carbon emissions.

The Philippines ratified the agreement early this year.

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TAGS: Climate Change, COP23, United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, world news
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