More than 400 aid agencies and activist groups on Wednesday demanded that loss and damage finance for poorer countries be added to the official negotiating agenda of the upcoming COP27 climate summit in Egypt.
In an open letter the groups said discussions around money for developing nations reeling from the impacts of climate change would help ensure the event offered “a meaningful outcome” that responded to the “intensifying suffering” of countries in crisis.
Harjeet Singh of Climate Action Network International (CAN), the NGO that initiated the letter, said that Cop27’s credibility was "hanging by a thread".
"The Cop27 conference will be counted as a failure if developed nations continue to ignore the demand from developing countries to establish a loss and damage finance facility to help people recover from worsening floods, wildfires and rising seas," he said.
Rich nations' failures
The failure by rich nations to phase out fossil fuels quickly enough was causing increased and more intensive climate disasters, CAN said on its website.
“The devastating floods in Pakistan are a testimony to the deep inequality and injustice caused by the rich polluters who spewed emissions unabated and blocked financial assistance for people facing climate emergency.”
Environmental groups say the issue of loss and damage has consistently been sidelined at climate events, with wealthy polluters such as the US, EU, Norway and others refusing to engage in meaningful discussions on a finance mechanism.
At last year’s Cop26 conference in Glasgow, countries representing six out of every seven people on the planet called for the establishment of a dedicated loss and damage "facility" to enable at-risk nations to recover from extreme events.
Instead a loss and damage "dialogue" was offered as an alternative ahead of Cop27, which begins in November in Sharm el-Sheikh.