The following is a joint press release from the Least Developed Countries, the Alliance of Small Island States, the Africa Group and the G77/China negotiating blocs at the UN climate change conference in Warsaw. For interviews, contact the LDCs spokesperson: Munjurul Hannan Khan: munjurulKhan@gmail.com or +48 690 507 519
11 November 2013:
Loss and damage occurs when climate change related harm affects vulnerable people and countries. The issue is expected to feature prominently in negotiations at the UN Climate Conference, which takes place from the 11-22 November in Warsaw, Poland. “Loss and damage from climate change is a reality today across the world,” says Naderev “Yeb” Sano, Climate Change Commissioner of the Philippines, “My family ground, my home country just suffered a Typhoon, for which the scale has yet to be created”.
He adds: “Developed country emissions cut targets are dangerously low and must be raised immediately, but even if they were in line with developing country demands of reducing 40—50% on 1990 levels, we would still have locked–‐in climate change and would still need to address the issue of loss and damage.”
The Group of G77 and China calls for an international coordinated response from the UNFCCC that will help tackle the challenge of long-term changes brought by global warming.
Juan Hoffmaister, lead negotiator on loss and damage for the group of G77, says, “We are trying to negotiate a mechanism that will address what happens if food production is no longer feasible, or that people have to leave their homelands because of climate change.”
Malia Talakai, the AOSIS spokesperson for loss and damage, adds, “SIDS are also put in a position of having to deal with loss and damage from climate change impacts that cannot be adapted to. The survival of our member nations is in all our hands. This is a grave responsibility and we must act with the urgency it demands and establish an international mechanism to address loss and damage in Warsaw. The international mechanism must address the needs of SIDS and other particularly vulnerable countries.”
“Loss and damage is complex because it is about the human face of climate change impacts. We are not merely discussing economic costs, we are not discussing only weather events, but also slowly creeping changes from climate change,” argues Elia del Carmen Guerra of Panama.
Patience Damptey, negotiator for the African Group, adds, “Communities in developing countries who have done the least to cause climate change are now suffering these irreversible impacts. That is why we have a united position among developing countries to create an UNFCCC loss and damage mechanism.”
Adao Barbosa, outlining the position of the LDC group, said, “If we leave Warsaw without a loss and damage mechanism we will have failed in building a comprehensive response to climate change that truly considers the needs of the poor.”
Juan Hoffmaister concludes for G77, “It’s unacceptable that some continue to sideline this issue, or fob it off as a ‘research agenda’ item. We do need more knowledge, but above all we need more action and political commitment to deal with the concerns of the world’s most vulnerable people.”
Contact: Munjurul Hannan Khan, spokesperson, LDCs: munjurulKhan@gmail.com or +48 690 507 519