Glasgow, November 13, 2021
Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network:
The latest draft text from COP26 is a clear betrayal by rich nations- the US, the EU and the UK- of vulnerable communities in poor countries. By blocking the AOSIS and G77+ China proposal, representing 6 billion people, on the creation of a Glasgow Loss and Damage Finance Facility rich countries have once again demonstrated their complete lack of solidarity and responsibility to protect those facing the worst of the climate impacts. We urge developing countries to act in the interest of their citizens and stand strong in the face of bullies.
Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD):
“Saturday’s text from COP26 on loss and damage is even worse than the text on Friday. The COP Presidency has overnight been bullied into dropping the Glasgow Loss and Damage Finance Facility. The UK’s words to the vulnerable countries have been proven to be totally unreliable.”
Mohamed Adow, Director, Powershift Africa:
“Vulnerable countries cannot afford to leave COP26 with this current version of the text on loss and damage. Whether Glasgow delivers a proper financing facility is how this summit will be judged by the world’ most vulnerable countries and the millions of people facing climate devastation.”
Natalie Lucas, Executive Director, Care About Climate, node Coordinator USCAN
“Developing nations have called for Loss and Damage finance as climate impacts, and losses and damages get worse for them. Developed nations, including the US, have not risen to the challenge to do what is necessary to protect people. We have missed the train on mitigation, on adaptation, and now it is colliding into the most vulnerable people. We have created no way to stop it. There is still time at COP26 to deliver on this and show some moral responsibility.”
Cat Pettengell, Director Climate Action Network UK (CAN-UK):
“We need finance for loss and damage. Now. For too long the most urgent and devastating consequences of climate change impact – falling disproportionately on those least responsible for causing climate change – has been ignored. And those voices have been ignored again in this third draft text from the UK. Where is the G77’s proposal? If richer countries are blocking this proposal to advance action on loss and damage, they cannot be allowed to do it behind closed doors, they need to stand up in the room and say they are not prepared to support impacted communities. The UK can no longer ignore the voices of the most vulnerable in this process, the G77 proposal must be in the fourth draft of the text to advance things forward.”
Yolande Wright, Global Director of Child Poverty and Climate at Save the Children:
“High income countries and historical emitters urgently need to support the development of new and additional funds to address rapidly escalating loss and damage, as well as the creation of a new climate finance mechanism for loss and damage by 2023. As we write, the hunger crisis is worsening in many regions, including East Africa where another drought is bringing millions to the brink of starvation, and serious funding shortages mean we cannot take the action we know is needed to save lives and livelihoods. We aren’t discussing distant climate impacts that might happen – we are talking about crises happening right now, where children are affected first and worst and many are tragically already losing their lives.”
Rachel Cleetus, Policy director and lead economist in the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists: “At COP26, richer nations most responsible for heat-trapping emissions acknowledged that climate impacts are already causing loss of lives, livelihoods and critical ecosystems in climate vulnerable countries. Yet as it stands thus far, they have failed to take responsibility for addressing this loss and damage. The decision to operationalize the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage is an important step but is completely inadequate without robust financial resources. Unfortunately, a proposed Glasgow Loss and Damage Facility, championed by developing countries to channel new and additional funds for loss and damage, has met strong resistance from richer nations including the United States, Australia and the European Union. Contributions from Scotland and an offer of kick-starter funds from a group of philanthropies are welcome signs and should put richer nations to shame for not doing their part. The reality of the climate crisis is overwhelming with worsening floods and drought, as well as more intense heatwaves, storms and wildfires. We need the largest emitting countries including the United States—to support climate justice, not evade their historical responsibility and prioritize the profits of fossil fuel polluters over the needs of people on the frontlines of the climate crisis.”
Climate Action Network Europe
“Europe and the EU have a huge historical responsibility for the climate crisis, yet these countries failed to pull their weight and collectively get behind the outcome vulnerable countries and communities so desperately need on loss and damage finance.”
Nithi Nesadurai, Director and Regional Coordinator, Climate Action Network Southeast Asia:
“While negotiations continue on COP26, it is a huge disappointment that in spite of the vast evidence of climate change impacts resulting in loss and damage (L&D) especially in the most vulnerable countries which have contributed the least to the problem, countries like the US, UK and EU in particular are blocking the creation of a L&D finance facility and are weakening the text on L&D. This behaviour is immoral and unacceptable.”
Teresa Anderson, Climate Policy Coordinator for ActionAid International:
“The latest text from COP26 is a slap in the face for those who are already dealing with the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. It still does nothing to provide a single penny to support indigenous communities, farmers, women and girls to recover and rebuild after climate disasters. The vast majority of the world’s countries are calling for a new funding facility for loss and damage yet their voices have been ignored, again.
“There were huge expectations that COP26 would be the moment when the world finally says – yes, we are in this together. But the wealthy countries that have done the most to cause the climate crisis are once again turning their backs on frontline communities in the Global South.”
Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia:
“For the people of South Asia, a region that is being slammed by climate induced disasters every day, COP 26 was indeed the last chance to find permanent solution to the climate crisis, unfortunately the voices of the most vulnerable and the most impacted have been silenced and the interest of the fossil fuel corporations have been clearly pandered to by the UK COP presidency. Instead of building trust, the global south has been cheated once again. Instead of funding for loss and damage what we have is yet another greenwash that will ensure genocide by extreme weather events in developing countries.”
Dr Kat Kramer, Christian Aid’s climate policy lead, said:
“The current text fails to respond to the needs of vulnerable countries. Climate impacts are already causing devastating impacts in communities around the world, but developed countries, including the US and the EU are blocking finance and support to help them rebuild their lives. These losses and damages are being caused by the emissions the rich world has caused, but are being suffered by those that have not caused climate change. The fossil fuel industry similarly has not been sent the strong message it needs in this latest text. All coal, not just for power, needs to be phased out. It is also a scandal that oil and gas don’t receive the opprobrium they deserve – all fossil fuel subsidies need to go now.”
Tracy Carty, head of Oxfam’s COP26 delegation said:
“Here in Glasgow, the world’s poorest countries are in danger of being lost from view, but the next few hours can and must change the course we are on. What’s on the table is still not good enough.
“We need decisive progress on finance to help countries adapt and for the loss and damage they are already enduring. It is of deep concern that developing countries’ proposal for a loss and damage finance facility has not been included in this new draft.
“Negotiators should come back to the table armed with cans of Irn Bru and stop at nothing to get an ambitious deal over the line.”
Erin Roberts, coordinator, Loss and Damage Collaboration said:
“The political leaders of developed countries stress the urgency of addressing climate change in their speeches at high level events yet do not empower their negotiators with mandates to scale up climate action.
We are repeatedly seeing developed countries block progress on finance for Loss and Damage telling developing countries that they don’t have the mandate to do more. Why not? We can mobilize trillions when lives in the global North are endangered. Why can’t we do the same for lives in the global South?
Yesterday we saw five major philanthropies step up to provide finance for the Glasgow Facility on Loss and Damage and yet in the new text just released we have a structured dialogue to continue discussions on developing a fund or facility”
Fatima Ahouli, Regional coordinator, Climate Action Network Arab World (CANAW)
Loss and damage is a matter of justice and responsibility. Communities in the global south are taking the heat of climate change impacts that Global north has contributed to. We need real financial commitments towards Loss and Damage. We need real leadership with real human consciousness.
Eddy Pérez from Climate Action Network Canada
Keeping 1.5oC within reach is a matter of survival for billions of people around the world. For COP26 to make a breakthrough and reassure those on the frontlines, we need to make the right decision and listen to the people from climate vulnerable countries who suffer the most from the impacts of the climate crisis. They are asking for nothing less than adequate resources to build back better, after climate disasters hit. It’s already outrageously unjust that they have to be the ones who pay the costs of climate-induced losses and damages. Glasgow must deliver for them.
Gavan McFadzean – Climate Action Network Australia (on coal text)While it is progress that coal phase out is referred to at all, the text is now so weak you can literally drive a coal train though it. The updated text is now silent when it comes to phasing out metallurgical coal and coal exports, and provides loopholes for the continuation of fossil fuel subsidies and promotion of false solutions like carbon capture and storage.
Lien Vandamme, Senior Campaigner, Human Rights and Climate, at the Center for International Environmental Law:
The countries most responsible for the climate crisis owe those least responsible and most impacted significant finance and support including for loss and damage, which is not a future problem, but a now problem. Removing the commitment to creating a finance mechanism for loss and damage literally turns this text back into mere blah blah blah. This responsibility cannot be pawned off to private financiers or delayed for more years of talking, loss and damage finance is needed and needed now, and developed nations must step up.
Wellington Madumira: Coordinator Climate Action Network Zimbabwe (CANZIM)
World political leaders have failed to leave a safe world to future generations. Climate change loss and damage is now locked in. The most marginalised and vulnerable are most affected by global warming and they are least responsible for it. There’s a moral imperative to act on climate loss and damage now for the wellbeing of future generations. Stop passing the political hot potato around – act on loss and damage now. Gender, race and age are key to ways that everyone can be heard on solutions to climate loss and damage. Everyone has a voice – how will you use it: to create hope or to reaffirm climate injustice?
Loss and damage cause economic and non-economic losses e.g. loss of place and identity, loss of knowledge and culture, and effects on mental health and wellbeing. Mitigation and adaptation are not enough to preclude loss and damage – so addressing loss and damage now and into the future is necessary.
Adrian Martinez, La Ruta del Clima.
We came to COP26 with a clear objective, to hear from developed countries their acknowledgement of responsibility for the loss and damage imposed on the most vulnerable communities. We demanded COP26 stopped silencing our right to Climate Reparations. We did not come here to negotiate on our human rights nor to receive charity. COP26 has a minimum objective to reduce carbon emissions and to protect us from the adverse effects of climate change. The current drafts do not protect people, but protect the greed of fossil fuel companies and the colonial views of developed country politicians.
Colin McQuistan, Head of Climate and Resilience – Practical Action
Loss and Damage is the result of the failure to act on climate change. It’s the irreversible and unavoided impact of climate change. And those impacts, as we have learned in 2021, have occurred all around the world, with the flood in China and Germany. For many developing countries and communities, Loss and Damage is the reality. At COP, our role was to inform this negotiation process, providing examples of the critical issues and how communities can best respond to them, and thrive, not just survive. But, this new text fails to respond, leaving the least responsible in the most critical situation. There were great expectations on this COP to deliver hope, but with unresolved finance for adaptation, mitigation and, most of all, for Loss and Damage, we are turning away from responsibility and solidarity. We need finance for Loss and Damage, and we need it now.
Ashwini Prabha – Board Member of the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN)
“The inability of COP26 to chart a concrete way forward for loss & damage and importantly on loss & damage finance is an utter disappointment. We represent a group of most climate vulnerable countries and the inaction of COP26 on L&D is only going to see us suffer. The weakening of the L&D text by a few developed parties is unacceptable to us. This is outright bullying of the underrepresented Pacific states at COP26” Cansin Leylim, campaigner at 350.org“Delegates from the least responsible and most vulnerable countries have given their blood, sweat and tears to ensure Loss and Damage funds are set up and delivered. We demand that rich polluters stop wrangling over words – now is the time to face up to their responsibility and the realities of 1.1C degrees of heating. The climate crisis is already here and it is only just that those most responsible help to provision those least responsible to manage the impacts.”
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1500 NGOs in more than 130 countries fighting the climate crisis. More information on www.climatenetwork.org