Climate: “It’s high time” to take “loss and damage” seriously, says UN chief

Climate: “It’s high time” to take “loss and damage” seriously, says UN chief

It was “high time for a serious discussion” and “sensible action” on the damage already suffered from climate change, especially in developing countries, the UN Secretary General demanded on Wednesday.

Less than two months before the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Antonio Guterres and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi – remotely – brought together various leaders from developed and developing countries behind closed doors for an “open exchange” on the subject climate together action.

“My messages were clear. Regarding the climate emergency: The +1.5°C target is life-sustaining. And decreasing rapidly,” said the UN Secretary-General, referring to the Paris Agreement’s most ambitious goals of limiting global warming to +1.5°C compared to pre-industrial times.

“We are heading for +3°C.”

Under these conditions, he urged governments to tackle “four burning issues” by COP27: increasing ambition to reduce emissions, helping the most vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts and their funding being increased must, and finally “loss and damage”.

This last point, which has become a central element of the climate negotiations, concerns the damage already caused by the accumulation of extreme weather events, which neither measures to limit global warming nor measures to adapt to their consequences have been able to prevent. And demand compensation for the developing countries.

“It is high time for a serious discussion and meaningful action on this issue,” said Antonio Guterres.

“I hope that the COP27 in Egypt will make progress with this,” he added, seeing it as a matter of “climate justice, international solidarity and confidence-building.”

At the COP26 in Glasgow in late 2021, despite pressure from developing countries campaigning for specific funding of such losses and damages, rich countries had blocked this motion and the meeting had simply launched the start of a “dialogue” until 2024.

A few days ago, the Group of Least Developed Countries that met in Dakar revived this demand, calling for the establishment of a “financing mechanism” to deal with the damage caused by global warming.


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