Loss and Damage Reflects New Era of the Climate Talks

on April 15, 2013

It is fair to say that the central role Loss and Damage played in the Doha climate negotiations took many people by surprise.

Due in large part to the work of AOSIS negotiators, and allies from the LDCs, African Group, and G77, the final text recognised that climate related loss and damage was part of a new reality for many vulnerable countries around the world.

This was no small achievement given the staunch opposition to loss and damage by developed countries that seem reluctant to assume responsibility for the consequences of unabated greenhouse gas emissions.

In part reflecting that debate, the Doha text left many of the most contentious issues unresolved, such as how the issue will be managed inside the UN system and where the resources needed to address Loss and Damage will ultimately come from.

To assist in answering these questions, the decision in Doha called on the UNFCCC secretariat to carry out a number of interim activities before the 39th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, including an expert meeting and the provision of technical papers on non- economic losses related to climate change and another on the gaps in existing institutional arrangements relative to Loss and Damage within and outside of the Convention.

The expert meeting will be held sometime this fall and a call for the first paper has been posted to the UNFCCC site.

It is important therefore that AOSIS fully engages in these conversations, to further develop our proposal and help shape the international dialogue on loss and damage moving forward.

To that end, the Chair will host a multi-day meeting on Loss and Damage in New York for AOSIS negotiators following this issue, along with a variety of experts in May, so we can flesh out the proposal moving forward. More information about the meeting will be forthcoming by email soon.

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