Loss and Damage finance significant concern for PSIDS


By Sanjeshni Kumar

Tuvalu’s Director of Climate Change, Pepetua Latasi says loss and damage financing was a key element of the Pacific Island nation’s negotiating position at the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26) in Glasgow. This remains a priority for Tuvalu in preparation for the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference (COP27).

“Tuvalu came prepared to COP26 and our focus was on loss and damage to ensure there are tangible actions achieved from the conference. We were able to operationalise the Santiago Network, but we fell short of establishing a dedicated loss and damage financing facility. However, we have the Glasgow dialogue,” Latasi said.

In 2019, the Santiago Network was created at COP25 in Madrid to further the work of the loss and damage mechanism to ensure access to, and organising the availability of, technical assistance to developing countries vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.

At COP26, the Glasgow dialogue was set up to bring Parties together to discuss financing priorities to avert, minimise and address loss and damage.

“Glasgow dialogue was established as a face-saving compromise to avoid failure at COP26, said Latasi.

The  Senior Policy Officer of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), Alfred Ralifo said Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) need to look at more than just continuous dialogue on loss and damage and loss and damage finance at COP27 in Egypt this year.

“We really need to progress towards the establishment of a loss and damage finance facility, and this is something that I hope we can continue in the build on towards COP27 and how we as a Pacific region can continue to push for the establishment of loss and damage finance facility,” he said.

United Kingdom’s COP26 Regional Ambassador to Asia-Pacific, Ken O’Flaherty assured the UK, as President of COP26, will help facilitate engagements between the Pacific and Egypt, the COP27 Presidency in the coming months.

“If there is any way in which we can help facilitate discussions between our Pacific partners and the Egyptian presidency, we will be very happy to do that, to the extent possible other issues which we have heard consistently from our Pacific partners,” O’Flaherty said.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Climate Change Finance Adviser, Pacific Islands Forums (PIFs), Exsley Taloiburi said “UK providing an opportunity and facilitating our engagement with Egypt as the incoming COP27 presidency would help us to showcase some of our successes to the global platform to stimulate and also mobilise local support in the delivery of those resources that have been pledged under the Paris Agreement.”

The Paris agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 04 November 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

COP27 will be hosted by Egypt in Sharm El-Sheikh from 07 – 18 November 2022.