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Loss and Damage: Africa's final push for finance facility at COP27

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Africa is in a last-minute dash to secure far-reaching climate deals, including a critical finance facility for the loss and damages states have borne due to extreme weather

Seth Onyango, bird story agency

With the landmark "loss and damage" agenda adapted into the UN climate talks, Africa's frontline negotiators now want a payment plan to feature in the final resolutions of the discussions.

At its briefing, the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) said its pushing to insert a compromise deal in the COP27 outcome document to help the states worst hit by climate change to blunt the fallout.

"We are concerned about the lack of progress on various issues of importance to our group particularly on finance, adaptation and loss and damage," said Eng. Collins Nzovu, Minister of Green Economy and Environment of Zambia, Chair of the AGN.

Eng. Collins Nzovu, Minister of Green Economy and Environment of Zambia, Chair of the AGN at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh. Photo : Seth Onyango, bird story agency

"However, with few days remaining, we believe we can still deliver on all work streams, including adaptation, loss and damage, mitigation and means of implementation.

But getting delegates to settle on a package of loss and damage facility is proving problematic, with rich nations asserting an existing mechanism (a 2001 Adaptation Fund) to address the issue. However, African diplomats argued that the fund has, like many other efforts, failed to deliver measurable results.

Nzovu notes an intensive technical work has been done throughout the year and last week on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) and urged parties to work constructively to reach an agreement on a framework to enable achieving and assessing progress towards the goal.

"Adaptation is a matter of survival for Africa and COP27 should deliver on scaling up adaptation action and support including GGA", Nzovu said.

"We hope we can agree on an effective and well-resourced Santiago Network for Loss and damage to catalyse technical assistance to developing countries and establish a loss and damage finance facility with a clear roadmap for its full operationalisation."

It comes even as seven rich economies pledged new funding for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) during the COP27 climate summit, and several others backed the funds' ambitious goals for meeting the most urgent adaptation needs.

Announcing a total of UU$105.6 million in new funding, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Walloon Region of Belgium, stressed the need for even more support for the Global Environment Facility funds targeting the immediate climate adaptation needs of low-lying and low-income states.

Additionally, states, including Belgium, Canada, France, the United States, and the European Commission, signalled political support for the two funds. Some expressed an intention to contribute further in the coming months.

"Small Island Developing States cannot afford to wait when it comes to building climate resilience and dealing with extremes. We are highly appreciative that the Global Environment Facility's Special Climate Change Fund has a new funding window focused on supporting the unique adaptation needs of SIDS," said Conrod C. Hunte of the Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, who is Lead Negotiator of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

"We also welcome the strong political support from donors for the SCCF, but this needs to be translated into real funding commitments without delay."

The LDCF is the only dedicated source of climate adaptation finance for the 46 Least Developed Countries, which have generated the least carbon emissions yet face some of the highest risks from a warming planet.

The SCCF, which finances innovative approaches to scaling up climate adaptation in developing countries, has a special funding window for Small Island Developing States seeking support.

Earlier this year, the Global Environment Facility member countries endorsed a new strategy for both funds so they can provide more targeted, dedicated support for climate-vulnerable countries as they work to build a more resilient future and implement their National Adaptation Plans.

The Global Environment Facility programming strategy for the next four years anticipates that the Least Developed Countries Fund will provide between US$1 billion and US$1.3 billion for LDCs and that the Special Climate Change Fund will provide between US$200 million to US$400 million for Small Island Developing States and other climate-vulnerable developing states.

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