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HomeNewsLocal NewsClimate-vulnerable countries continue fight for "loss and damage" funding at COP27

Climate-vulnerable countries continue fight for “loss and damage” funding at COP27


by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The UN’s Climate Conference, COP27, is set to conclude this week with a fresh wave of promises, pledges and initiatives to combat the climate crisis with the critical issue of “loss and damage” funding on the agenda for countries most vulnerable and most affected by climate-related disasters.

According to an article on Reuters, with less than four days left until the end of COP27, much still needs to be solved despite the wave of leaders giving speeches about the climate crisis, and there were scant announcements of new funding or pledges to cut emissions faster.

Announcements so far have Germany, Austria, the United States and others pledging a few hundred million dollars of funding for poorer nations.

Germany pledged $170 million for loss and damage, and Belgium € 2.5 million, specifically to Mozambique. Austria also announced $50 million for loss and damage, and Scotland, which had previously pledged £2 million, announced an additional £5 million.

In 2009, governments around the world pledged the allocation of $100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries address the impacts of climate change. That commitment has never been met, even with vulnerable countries coping with escalating droughts, floods and rising seas each year.

Although some countries have made pledges to build out “loss and damage” funding, one Caribbean negotiator feels the commitments are lacking, saying, “Discussions on loss and damage have been weak, with not much progress made,” said Omar Alcock, a negotiator for Jamaica.

Jamaica is just one of 130 developing and climate-vulnerable countries that demand that countries agree at COP27 to launch a new loss and damage fund.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne in September suggested that countries most affected by climate change, such as those in the Caribbean, should seek redress before international courts inspired by the resolution being sought by Vanuatu.

The resolution will request the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on the legal obligations of states to protect human rights and environments from climate change.

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, recently expressed his support for Browne’s suggestion.

Access to funding makes or breaks a country’s ability to survive a climate disaster, and after 13 years of breaking the pledge of $100 billion, which by 2022 would have raised $13 trillion aimed at financing vulnerable countries to recover from climate disasters.

“The climate crisis is real and poses an existential threat to our lives, livelihoods and the way of life. By clear implication, climate risk is financial risk and directly impacts financial stability,” said the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Governor Timothy N J Antoine in his remarks during the 4th Annual Conference with Licensed Financial Institutions.

Governor Antoine also shared that climate change is the mother of all supply chain shocks.

“Of necessity, then, the ECCB as a responsible regulator, will work closely with Licensed Financial Institutions to address climate risk. This will include the issuance of a standard in 2023 on climate risk, thereby providing guidance on disclosures, stress testing and capital adequacy, as well as support for the development of a green finance market to help accelerate our renewable energy transition and increase our region’s capacity for adaptation.”

With the frequency of natural disasters in the Caribbean being seven times higher than the global average and the loss and damages from the disasters and six and half times higher than the global average, according to the ECCB Governor, the Caribbean is highly vulnerable to climate-related risks which threaten our economic stability.



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