As global pressure mounts for COP27 to deliver on a loss and damage finance facility, Aotearoa New Zealand has today announced a dedicated allocation of NZ$20 million in climate funding to address loss and damage in developing countries.
This announcement comes on the back of an unprecedented inclusion of Loss and Damage as an agenda item for this year’s climate negotiations, a feat only made possible because of years of campaigning by the global south countries.
We welcome these momentous steps being taken by countries who have committed funds but if we are to achieve climate justice, the scale, pace and accessibility of climate finance directed to vulnerable countries need to catch up.
Lavetanalagi Seru, Regional Policy Coordinator for the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network says “this announcement by Aotearoa New Zealand to commit dedicated funding for Loss and Damage sends a strong signal, responding to the decades of calls from communities, civil society, and in particular Pacific small island states, who are already living through an era of loss and damage.”
“However, this funding announcement—similar to Scotland, Belgium, and Denmark— whilst welcomed and a pivot towards getting the process off the ground, is still only a drop in the ocean. It must not absolve COP27 of the responsibility of delivering a loss and damage finance facility under the finance mechanism of the UNFCCC.”
“We must also ensure that future committed loss and damage funds are not being repurposed as adaptation finance, but that the funds are additional and dedicated specifically for loss and damage initiatives. The scale of loss and damage finance required is in the billions, and we need countries to also contribute their fair share to address mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage, to fight false solutions and to claim new fossil-fuel-free futures for all.”
“Loss and damage is about equity and justice, and this commitment is a step towards climate justice for people and communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis.”
Noelene Nabulivou, Executive Director of Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality said “the announcement of a dedicated loss and damage finance from Aotearoa New Zealand comes at the start of these crucial COP27 negotiations. Pacific SIDS were some of the first countries to raise this issue decades ago at the UNFCCC. We continue to be at the forefront of the climate justice struggle.
“We congratulate Aotearoa New Zealand on a major step forward as one of only a handful of countries to be explicit in funding focused on loss and damage. We trust that Australia, The United States, the European Union and many others will also do the right thing by acknowledging that loss and damage is upon us, and that as Pacific and climate frontline people around the world, we are already fighting to survive and thrive. We cannot do it without resources. Together at COP27 we must build a finance facility to ensure timely, accessible grants-based assistance to those most affected by the linked climate, economic and ecological emergency. The tide is finally turning.” Joseph Sikulu, 350.org Pacific Managing Director says,
“We welcome the announcement from Aotearoa New Zealand and the resources committed to repair what impacted communities have lost because of climate change.
Today sees a number of pledges for loss and damage finance from nations like Scotland, Austria and New Zealand. However, wealthy countries have a responsibility to ensure that loss and damage funding is not only sufficient, but also accessible to those who need it most.
These announcements come just as Pacific civil societies launched the Kioa Climate Emergency Declaration, which calls for new and additional loss and damage finance from wealthy countries.
Our communities are already losing lives and livelihoods to the impacts of climate change, despite contributing the least to this crisis. Any finance pledged for loss and damage must be new and additional, and not taken from the climate finance allocated to helping our communities adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change.”