Denmark is the first to take responsibility for loss and damage related to climate change

A global financial mechanism to compensate for losses and damages caused by climate change could be activated, after years of fruitless negotiations. Denmark is the first country to contribute funds for countries at risk as it has earmarked USD 13 for the mechanism. The term loss and damage has been adopted to refer to a financial system in which developed countries pay their vulnerable counterparts for damages and losses due to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The instrument makes developed countries responsible for historic emissions, which is a sensitive but nonetheless important topic in global negotiations on climate solutions.

Denmark has become the first country on the list of historically large emitters or polluters to pledge funds to developing countries for loss and damage caused by climate change. The Nordic country will allocate $13 million through a financial instrument to help the most vulnerable regions and countries.

The financial mechanism called Loss and Damage is for funds to the most affected countries to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The diagram reflects the question of the historical responsibility of the countries that have committed the greatest climate damage and caused the accumulation of greenhouse gases. The global debate among world leaders raises the issue of financial compensation for loss and damage due to climate change.

Most developed countries have long resisted special funding for climate change loss and damage

The most developed countries have long resisted the establishment of the financial mechanism. But the government of Denmark has decided to allocate funds and become the country that launches the global program.

At the last UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), participants failed to reach an agreement. Loss and damage is on the agenda for COP27, scheduled for November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

How to determine loss and damage

Loss and damage refers to the consequences of climate change that are beyond what people can adapt to and mitigate. Or when adjustment options exist, but the community does not have access to the necessary resources and cannot use them.

Loss and damage refers to the consequences of climate change that go beyond what people can adapt to

Loss and damage is the impact of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts and heat waves. And also the result of slower changes, such as sea level rise, desertification, land degradation, ocean acidification and melting glaciers.

Loss and damage is the impact of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts and heat waves

Poor and developing countries are pushing for serious discussions at the global level to support their recovery and prepare for the future.

Denmark donates funds to multiple recipients

The Danish Foreign Ministry revealed that of the $13 million earmarked for assistance to vulnerable countries, $5 million would go to Frankfurt-based organization InsuResilience, which subsidizes weather insurance in affected countries.

An additional $4 million is dedicated to a strategic partnership between the Danish government and civil society organizations addressing climate-related loss and damage, focusing on the Sahel region of North Africa.

Three million dollars are allocated for strategic loss and damage efforts around the COP27 summit, and the remaining $1 million is for civil society in developing countries, the firm said.

Sahel, North Africa / Photo: Anton Wagner from Pixabay

Danish officials expressed hope that their decision would also affect people on the ground who are already dealing with the consequences of climate change and help move negotiations forward.

Pivotal moment for global negotiations

At the last climate summit in Glasgow, the Group of 77, a bloc of more than 130 developing countries, tried to set up a fund to support victims of climate disasters. But such an initiative was blocked by the European Union and the United States. Denmark’s decision could now mark a turning point in the talks.

The establishment of a financial instrument to support the victims of climate disasters has been blocked by the EU and the United States

Under the Paris Agreement, all countries agreed to address “loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change”. But rich countries were fiercely reluctant to provide special funding because they did not want to take responsibility for it, risking international lawsuits.

Historical shows and global debates

Although they represent only 12% of the world’s population, the most developed countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan and much of Western Europe, are responsible for 50% of all emissions. greenhouse gases emitted by burning fossil fuels. and industry over the past 170 years.

While Western officials insist that countries like India, Indonesia and South Africa must accelerate the phase-out of coal, developing countries insist that they lack the financial resources and do not receive adequate support from the richest countries.

Following the recent devastating floods in Pakistan, the United Nations has launched an urgent appeal to raise $160 million in aid. This would be enough for first aid and to feed those affected by the disaster. However, damage from climate change-induced flooding and melting glaciers on the country’s Himalayan ridge is estimated at tens of billions of dollars.

Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, pointed out in a Guardian article that her country is not only exposed to both high climate vulnerabilities and low climate disaster preparedness. Much of the southern hemisphere is already affected by adverse climate impacts, supply chain disruptions and high social costs.

Countries at risk require transfer of resources and strong financial mechanisms to implement urgent adaptation, Rehman said.

She noted that in a disaster-free year, Pakistan typically loses 9.1% of its gross domestic product due to the cumulative impact of climate stress. This figure is estimated to have nearly doubled due to medium-term losses from recent floods.

Financial resources came mainly from loans and credits, not grants

In 2009, the world’s largest economies committed to mobilizing $100 billion a year to fund climate change mitigation and adaptation in the most vulnerable countries by 2020, but fell short of those targets. Goals. Financial resources came mainly from loans and credits, and never from grants or financial reparations.

The Danish decision, although modest, can be seen as the start of a new model for establishing climate responsibility

Ahead of the COP27 global climate summit, the Danish decision, while modest, can be seen as the launch of a new model for establishing climate responsibility.

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