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G77 & China walk out of Loss and Damage talks over lack of commitment to climate fund

The technical negotiations have now resumed with the hope of producing a text to present to ministers for agreement.

ANI  |  Beijing 

In a rare show of strength against rich nations, the +Group, comprising almost all developing countries, walked out of the negotiations on crucial Loss and Damage (L and D) issue.

This was due to developed countries blocking any progress on setting up Mechanism for Loss and Damage.

In response these developments Climate Action Network South Director Sanjay Vashist said, the move by the developing countries was done as a protest to the attitude of some rich countries towards agreeing to engage in mitigation related negotiations but destroying any talks on Loss and Damage."

He further said "CAN South shares the frustration felt by developing countries and we are concerned about the future of our society. The situation seems crucial with increasing climate impacts already impacting our lives and threatening our survival."

"A watered-down deal on loss and damage in Warsaw is equal to no deal. We need developments on loss and damage in this COP if we are to move forward," he said.

From the early 1990s to the mid-2000s, negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have focused on how to avoid dangerous climate change impacts (Article 2), focusing in early days primarily on mitigation.

The release of IPCC reports have brought to focus that the level of overall ambition on emissions reduction was too low to fully prevent climate change.

This has included the discussion of adaptation which includes the element of managing loss and damage. In this, the implementation of risk management and risk transfer measures were discussed as part of adaptation.

In 2007, the Bali Action Plan called for risk management and risk reduction strategies and for consideration of strategies and means to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts. Throughout the climate change negotiations following the Bali Action Plan (UNFCCC 2007), risk management featured prominently in discussions, and has today become one of the key elements of concern to the developing countries.

At this Conference of Parties in Warsaw the countries stand united as loss and damage discussion is a priority for the Least Developed Country group (LDC) and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

Harjeet Singh, Coordinator for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaptation said, "USA, EU, Australia and Norway remain blind to the climate reality that's hitting all but poor people and countries much harder. They continue to derail negotiations in Warsaw that can create a new system to deal with new types of loss and damage such as sea level rise, loss of territory, biodiversity and no economic losses more systematically."

Civil society and academics have been closely working on the issue of Loss and Damage, and following the developments in the UNFCCC negations, so as to avoid any hindrance to the development of a pro-poor and pro-vulnerable outcome in the process. However there seems much to be achieved to reach the expected objectives.

"The developing countries are united in their demand for an international mechanism on loss and damage to be agreed in Warsaw. The developed countries are blocking that demand and propose to relegate discussions of loss and damage under adaptation only," said Dr. Saleemul Huq of ICCAD..

Commenting on the move of and in the UNFCCC process on loss and damage, Ram Kishan Regional Emergency Manager for South Asia, of Christian Aid added, "Developing countries are grappling with acute crisis of disasters and permanent losses, poor people around the world are struggling for their survival. The developed countries' efforts to make loss and damage a non-issue in Warsaw is like acknowledging the very existence of the problem. We stand with developing countries fight for the poor and the vulnerable and not give up on the critical issue of loss and damage."

The technical negotiations have now resumed with the hope of producing a text to present to ministers for agreement.

First Published: Thu, November 21 2013. 16:49 IST