The US, Australia, Canada and the EU receive the Fossil of the Day for refusing to get serious about loss and damage finance.
For all the policy geeks out there, while decision 2/CP19 provides the WIM with a mandate to ‘enhance’, ‘facilitate’, ‘mobilize’ and ‘secure’ finance for loss and damage, in the negotiating room they consistently refer to the SCF or even higher levels, where it is also absent from the discussion.
Basically, they were seeking to twist, water down, and delete references to finance from the loss and damage decision text.
We would have thought that the US - with its own territory of Puerto Rico still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria – would, perhaps, have rediscovered at least one empathic bone in its body. But apparently, this was waaaaay too much to ask for - it aggressively led the charge to delete references to finance in the loss and damage text. Some might think this level of intervention was a bit rich coming from a country that has talked about pulling out of the Paris Agreement, but it looks like they plan on taking others down with them.
Australia has long lacked many things – sympathy, support, and solidarity among them – with its Pacific Island neighbors (flashback to Day 2 anyone?), but these bullying tactics are over the line, even for them.
And Canada - we had hopes! At the beginning, you were so amazing in standing up for civil society and proposed newly-constructive ways to advance on this urgent matter. Why join with your disreputable Annex 1 friends on the issue of finance? We expect in the future, that need you will to move closer to the good side. It’s nice here, we promise.
EU - really? We can’t say we’re surprised. But disappointed, yes. You stepped up to assist Fiji in hosting the COP - now vulnerable countries need you to step up on the vital and super important issue of providing finance to the most vulnerable people on the front line of the worst climate impacts.
At this Pacific COP, with the Caribbean lying in ruins and other devastating climate impacts around the world, we need solidarity from rich countries. We need them to live up to the promises they made in 2013 in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, and the promises they made in the Paris Agreement. Put in place a two-year work plan on loss and damage finance, don’t let six years go by before you do anything to live up to your promises at Warsaw.
About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1100 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 working to promote government and individual action to limit human induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org
About the Fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations or in the implementation of the Paris Agreement