Eddy Perez from Climate Action Network Canada
- The Canadian Government has requested inputs about loss and damage for COP23, CAN-Rac welcomes this opportunity to share ideas that could help the Government of Canada present a position aligned with the priorities of the Canadian Government for COP23.
- The Fiji COP23 presidency has put loss and damage at the top of the agenda.
- COP23 takes place after a series of climate catastrophes that affected the countries all over the world, including Canada. These devastating events show us that we are living in a new reality which requires a new set of tools and resources to respond to these realities.
- Canada is experiencing a higher rate of warming than most other global regions. This trend is particularly visible in the north of Canada, which has experienced as much as 3 degrees C warming in recent decades. Indigenous communities in the north and across Canada, as well as Canadian communities that live in coastal regions and/or rely on an economy based in staple resources affected by climate change, are some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to climate change.
- In 2015, the Paris Agreement recognized the importance of Loss and Damage making it the “third pillar” alongside mitigation and adaptation.
- On 11 – 13 October 2017, parties met in Bonn for Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage to discuss the evolution of the 5-year work program.
- The Canadian Government has promised 2.65Billion a year by 2020 to finance climate action. The Canadian Government has shown leadership by doubling their financial support to the IPCC.
- The Canadian Government can show leadership at home and abroad by proposing innovative ideas to help the most vulnerable communities on earth face the worst effects of climate change.
Loss and Damage challenges
- At this point, no concrete measure has been approved to ensure that the most vulnerable countries of the world receive the appropriate financial resources to address the worst impacts of climate change.
- The WIM was created in 2013 and had a specific mandate to develop and implement a strategic work stream to mobilize finance for loss and damage.
- However, based on the decisions taken at the latest meeting of the ExCom, there is no clear mandate or vision concerning loss and damage finance, other than to develop a website to crowd-source information about climate insurance.
- This initiative is called the Clearing House for Risk Transfer and Insurance. While it could represent one element of a positive way forward, we must seek other ways of mobilizing financial resources for a range of impacts such as sea-level rise, increasing pace of desertification, glacial melt and ocean acidification.
- At this point, the WIM is mostly focused on developing knowledge-sharing and coordination strategies among parties and institutions. While this is an important step forward to share information among countries, it doesn’t help reduce the feeling of uncertainty that developing countries are living when facing the onset catastrophic climate events that can not be planned for or adapted to.
- At this moment, the WIM does not have the appropriate resources to achieve its full potential and accomplish its work.
- The WIM meets only twice a year. So far, it has made much slower progress on its agenda than expected.
- Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were kept at bay for most of the discussions around the Five Year Rolling Work Plan.
- The participation of CSOs at the UNFCCC meetings is something the Canadian Government has always defended for the sake of transparency and accountability.
Ideas on how to move forward:
- At COP23, the Canadian Government could start a discussion about new and innovative sources of finance for loss and damage.
- They could ask the SCF, the GCF, and the LDCF to work together to develop the appropriate knowledge and strategies.
- The Canadian Government can request the SCF to provide guidance on understanding of the scale of finance required for addressing loss and damage.
- At COP 23, the Canadian Government can advocate for more resources to the WIM so that it can achieve its full mandate.
- At COP23, the Canadian Government can advocate for the full participation of CSOs at all meetings of the WIM going forward.