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Earth Today | AOSIS calls for action on Loss and Damage Fund

Published:Thursday | June 8, 2023 | 12:44 AM

THE ALLIANCE of Small Island States (AOSIS) continues to champion the prioritisation of loss and damage, adaptation and mitigation in order to win in the fight against climate change, which is especially problematic for Caribbean and other small island developing states (SIDS).

Addressing the Bonn UN Climate Conference recently, AOSIS, which represents the interests of 39 small island and low-lying coastal developing states, including Jamaica, in international climate change, sustainable development negotiations and processes since 1990, said the “timely operationalisation of a fit-for-purpose set of funding arrangements centred around a new fund addressing loss and damage” is key.

What is more, it said that the focus must be on assisting developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, “including their communities and the ecosystems that they depend on, especially in our small island developing states”.

It also maintained that the findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – considered the authority on climate research – must not be ignored.

“We are far off track from limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In fact, we will be emitting twice as much as we can afford by the end of the decade if we follow current policies. Drastic actions are required in this critical decade to course correct. We need to not only fulfil the commitments that we have already made, but also ratchet up ambition and accelerate implementation to close the mitigation gap in line with the best available science,” the AOSIS statement said.

“The time for creating pacts that are ignored and plans that are pushed aside must end. Major economies of G7 and G20 have shown the extent of their abilities in the face of pandemics and wars. But the climate crisis is relegated to being a secondary issue behind their self-interests. SIDS call for nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to become nationally implemented contributions now. SIDS will not mistake motion for action,” the statement revealed.

NDCs are country commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that fuel the warming of the planet, which in turn triggers more extreme weather events, including hurricanes and droughts, among other impacts.


Meanwhile, it said that the operationalisation of one of the key outcomes from the last global climate talks (COP27) – the UNFCCC’s new and distinct Loss and Damage Fund, addressing ongoing and locked-in loss and damage – is critical.

This should be made possible, the group proposed,“through the finalisation of the fund’s instrument of establishment, as well as the provision of initial guidance to the fund’s governing body”, in addition to substantial pledges and commitments towards its initial resource mobilisation and ahead of the next global climate talks (COP28), set for later this year.

Those sources, it said, should include not only existing climate finance providers, but also innovative sources of finance, voluntary contributions from the “high-emissions private industries and the financial sector that underpins and enables them”.

There is also a need for operationalising other new funding arrangements, while identifying and expanding others.

“The climate crisis that threatens to create refugees of our people at home must be treated with the utmost urgency, and our deliberations here in Bonn must remain guided by the latest science,” AOSIS said.