Durban climate talks must grapple with loss and damage

On Wednesday the UN climate team released a paper for discussion in Durban on the important subject of loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in vulnerable developing countries.

Under the terms of the 2010 Cancun Agreements, the UN working group was allowed two years to come up with recommendations for the 2012 talks.

Which is just as well because this discussion paper doesn’t get far beyond earnest references to workshops, technical papers and “modalities”. This is a shame because lots of good work has been done recently on disaster risk management, led by ideas on climate insurance.

There are signs of understandable impatience amongst the countries most at risk. The draft Dhaka Declaration to be discussed at the Climate Vulnerable Forum starting on Sunday includes a demand that  funds should be available to compensate for severe weather events.

The richer countries should wake up to this concern because we’re only a small step away from the alternative of legal action for reparations for climate damages.

Legal principles are being explored in an interesting series of grassroots Gender and Climate Justice Tribunals organised in 15 countries by the Feminist Task Force and the Global Call to Action against Poverty in memory of Wangari Maathai. IPS News is covering many of them, including yesterday’s report on the tribunal in Bangladesh.


this post was first published by OneWorld UK