For the first time, this year’s United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP27) has officially put the topic of “loss and damage” on the agenda for world leaders to discuss for two weeks. next – move on to the conversation about compensating nations. already affected by climate change, not just spending money on disaster prevention. World leaders, including Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, praised the inclusion of the theme and called for measurable changes.
“We believe it is important for us to address the issue of ‘loss and damage’. The talk has to come to an end,” Mottley said yesterday.
Loss and damage, to put it simply, is a general term to help developing countries hit hard by the effects of climate change. Some small European countries have pledged modest amounts for loss and damage, but bitter disagreement remains over who should receive aid, how much is provided, and who should be held accountable. And it is highly unlikely that these questions will be addressed at COP27.
There is a profound power imbalance at the heart of the problem. Rich, developed nations are increasingly producing the majority of the emissions that raise the average annual global surface temperature by about 2 degrees F since pre-industrial times – but developing countries are disproportionately bearing the brunt of the subsequent extreme weather events. Take it recent floods in pakistan: Climate change capable of repelling floods Pakistan has killed thousands and displaced millions since August, but the country itself is responsible for less than 1% of global carbon emissions. For many global leaders, the situation faced by countries like Pakistan is unfair, especially in the absence of any form of payment from wealthier nations.
Rich nations like the US have historically tried to concede and negotiate much less about losses and damages, possibly out of concern that compensation to developing countries could intensify a legal action that holds developed nations liable for future climate-related damages. There is also uncertainty and skepticism about costs – in September, US Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry made a comment on the US readiness to compensate for losses and damages. “You tell me the government in the world has trillions of dollars, because that’s the price of it,” he told the audience at a New York Times event.
It is known that even the inclusion of losses and damages on the agenda of COP27 is a controversial battle, requires negotiators to work overnight. Conversations about Liability and compensation are indisputableaccording to the resulting compromise.
Some like Mottley insist that loss-and-damage discussions can’t be limited to talks between world leaders – they must include big polluting businesses such as corporations. Oil and gas companies operate for profit and hold them accountable for their role in the ongoing crisis. If not, it’s United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the attendees of COP27 yesterday: “We’re on the highway to climate hell with our feet still on the gas.”