The scale of “loss and damage” caused by the devastating effects of climate change across the globe is undeniable, according to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and “all parties should show that they see it.”
In a joint speech on November 17th, COP 27 President Sameh Shoukry and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated as much.
Their speeches centered on the delays experienced by COP 27 attendees as a result of developed and developing countries’ failure to reach an agreement on loss and damage as well as adaptation.
“Adaptation is still held back by procedural matters; ambitious outcomes on finance have not yet materialized and on loss and damage, parties are shying away from taking the difficult political decisions.”
The European Union (EU) will donate €60 million to address loss and damage in Africa, according to an announcement made by Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission, on November 16. Timmermans added that the EU and its four members—Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, and France—will contribute €1 billion to help Africa adapt to the changing climate.
Shoukry stated in his speech on November 17 that he had a lengthy conversation with the UN secretary-general about the situation with regards to funding plans and responding to loss and damage brought on by the negative effects of climate change.
According to Shoukry, extra effort should be made by all parties to ensure an agreement on the pertinent issues; such an agreement will serve as the foundation for an appropriate response to the urgent and legitimate demand for adequate funding to be established for loss and damage as soon as possible.
The United Nations had earlier disclosed that no agreement had been reached on the subject, so the parties are due for lengthy negotiations on loss and damage. But Shoukry assured everyone that the COP 27 presidency is working nonstop to ensure the prompt resolution of all current issues.
Despite 31 years of pressure, 26 COPs, and numerous workshops and dialogues, according to a publication in the loss and damage collaboration platform, there was no dedicated funding to assist people in dealing with the aftereffects of climate impacts.
Loss and damage are, by definition, the negative, frequently irreversible effects of climate change on people and the environment beyond normal climate variability.
About 2.6 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were displaced by climate-related disasters in 2021, and it is expected that this trend will persist as temperatures rise. By 2050, the World Bank projects that sub-Saharan Africa will be home to up to 85.7 million climate migrants.
The ‘polluter pays’ principle, which states that those responsible for the harm must pay to address it, and the responsibility that developed countries have to developing countries are linked in an article from the loss and damage collaboration. The paper states:
“By one calculation, countries in the Global North are responsible for 92% of excess historical emissions. Between 1990 and 2015 the carbon emissions of the richest 1% of people globally were more than double the emissions of the poorest half of humanity. The entire continent of Africa produces less than 4% of global emissions.
“According to the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Africa was losing between 5% and 15% of its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita growth because of climate change. Developed countries must pay for the harm they have helped to cause, which comes in the form of loss and damage in developing countries.”