The Loss and Damage Fund is critical in supporting communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis who are battling devastating climate impacts, and marks a milestone in years of advocacy from Pacific Island countries and civil society in Australia and internationally.
Pacific Island countries are already suffering both economic and non-economic loss and damage from climate change on a major scale and urgently need access to the resources to address these impacts. Governments from rich, polluting countries must now turn their attention to financial contributions.
Australia has provided leadership in the establishment of the Fund as a member of the loss and damage transitional committee, though without money, the Fund risks being an empty shell. At COP28, rich countries like Australia, who have done the most to cause the climate crisis, must step up and provide real money to support communities to rebuild and recover in the aftermath of climate disasters.
ActionAid Australia Executive Director Michelle Higelin says:
“The establishment of the loss and damage fund is a momentous achievement and a ray of hope for women across the Pacific who are battling the daily realities of the climate crisis.”
“At COP28, the eyes of the Pacific will be firmly on Australia to match its words with tangible action. As a wealthy and high polluting country, we have a clear moral obligation to resource the fund and support communities who have done the least to cause the climate crisis to rebuild and recover in the aftermath of climate disasters.”
Climate Action Network Australia Chief Executive Officer Glen Klatovsky says:
“The mood on the ground at COP28 is stepping up the momentum on operationalising and getting genuine commitment from developed countries to pour finance at scale to the Loss & Damage fund. The establishment of a Loss and Damage fund has been a long time coming, and communities on the frontlines cannot wait any longer. Australia, as a major contributor to the climate crisis, should lead by contributing millions to the Loss and Damage fund as a matter of justice.”
Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain says the establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund at COP 28 was the “final piece in the climate finance puzzle”.
“The agreement to a Loss and Damage Fund is an incredible achievement of Pacific Island countries, civil society groups and so many others who have advocated for decades for reparations to communities and countries who are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change.
“Climate change is an issue of equity and justice. The richest 1% of the world’s population is producing as much carbon pollution as the five billion people who make up the poorest two-thirds of humanity. Our agreements at COP must reflect that fundamental fact by ensuring rich polluters pay to fix it, including through climate finance flows to developing countries.”
Caritas Australia Chief Executive Officer Kirsty Robertson says:
“Australia needs to back up its renewed engagement with the Pacific not just with words but with actions. Showing leadership on Loss and Damage means making an early and substantial commitment to the fund, just as the EU is doing at COP28, to show confidence in it and generate wide support. And what our Pacific partners are telling us is that Australia needs to speak up to ensure the fund covers ‘non-economic’ loss and damage too: the massive impacts to people’s lives, homes and health wrought by climate change, and the cultural and spiritual loss that accompanies it.”
Edmund Rice Centre Director ‘Alopi Latukefu says:
“The Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education welcomes the announcement of a loss and damage fund and encourages the Australia Government and other major carbon exporting and emitting economies to contribute generously to it. A ‘Loss and Damage Fund’ is the most understated name for what many in the Pacific and around the world are facing now and into the future. How can one put a measure to the loss of land, culture, ancestral connection and sovereignty going back thousands of years? What price can replace the biodiversity and unique environments lost as a result of climate change? Whatever number is finally landed will be a fraction of the true cost to those communities affected now and into the future.”
Notes to editor
The most recent reports from the Australian Government indicate that Australia is on track to provide $3 billion in international climate finance between 2020-2025. This is an $1 billion increase from the initial commitment of $2 billion for the same period. However, it falls well short of Australia’s fair share of the global climate finance target of USD 100 billion per year in mitigation and adaptation funding, which is $4 billion annually.
Australia does not currently provide any loss and damage funding. Loss and damage funding needs for low-income countries are estimated at USD 400 billion a year. Funding needs will only grow if ambitious action is not taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s target of keeping global warming as close to 1.5 degree as possible.
The world is off track from limiting global temperatures to 1.5C and climate finance commitments are falling well short of needs. Our organisations’ expectations for Australia at COP28 include:
- Agree to a full, fast, fair and funded phaseout of all fossil fuels and a tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030
- Make an initial $100 billion pledge to the Loss and Damage Fund
- Progress negotiations on an ambitious New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) for new climate finance post 2025, which is in line with the real cost of climate action.
- Set up a taskforce on international taxation to scale up development and climate action
For more information and interviews with spokespeople, please contact: Tim Brunero, 0405 285 547 / [email protected]