Trócaire has welcomed the agreement at COP27 for the establishment of a Loss and Damage fund aimed at providing vital financial support to the millions affected by climate change in developing countries.
However, progress on Loss and Damage was a bright spot in an otherwise underwhelming COP that failed to agree a phase out of fossil fuels and was weak on climate finance.
The agreement was concluded after tense negotiations that spilled over into Sunday morning.
Trócaire Head of Policy and Advocacy, Siobhan Curran, said: “This is a landmark moment that has been achieved after years of demands from communities who have been suffering the damaging impacts of the climate crisis, and the injustice of being pushed into debt to pay for a crisis not of their making.”
“We have gone from not having loss and damage finance on the agenda at COP27 to having agreement for a fund and that is a positive result.”
“However, the failure to include a phase out of all fossil fuels in the final decision is deeply disappointing and if States don’t deliver on emissions reductions, losses and damages will escalate beyond the scope of any fund.”
She added: “Rich countries had been holding out against this key demand to support countries who
have contributed least to climate change but who have been most impacted. After years of delay we are seeing some commitment by richer countries to pay our ecological debt.”
“Hundreds of thousands of people in Somalia face starvation and mass displacement, with the loss of crops, livestock and livelihoods due to drought. This is the harsh reality of the losses and damage caused by climate change. Finally affected communities should be able to access support in the face of the devastating impacts of the climate crisis.”
“There are many details for the new transitional committee to work out, including ensuring that the fund is equitable, that those who have historically polluted the most pay the most and the fund focuses on grant-based finance. The decision leaves room to work out the modalities whilst making the political commitment.”
Ms Curran said Loss and Damage fund cannot operate in isolation but is part of a package of climate change solutions including cutting emissions and adaptation.
“A lack of progress on climate finance is also disappointing. No delivery plan was agreed for doubling of adaptation finance by 2025 as per the COP26 Glasgow dialogue. After years of broken promises on climate finance the failure to agree clear commitments for delivery is a let-down for communities facing the worst impacts of the climate crisis.”