By Aina Eriksson, Maria Faciolince, and Kristine Galang
June 16, 2023
With 198 member states, also called Parties, the UNFCCC and its yearly meeting, the Conference of the Parties (COP), is the world’s largest platform for international climate agreements. Throughout the years, negotiations have pulled forth new priority areas, such as transitioning away from fossil fuels and coal-based energy, keeping the average rise of global temperatures below 1.5C degrees, and increasing climate action and its transparent reporting.
The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) held last year yielded historic wins in its final decision, including the agreement to set up a loss and damage fund for nations most vulnerable to the climate crisis and the call for a reform of multilateral banks such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
This year, the global community will convene once again for COP28 to tackle a myriad of issues involving the delivery of adaptation, mitigation, and loss and damage finance to communities that need them the most.
One of the critical policy points in this year’s COP is the operationalization of a loss and damage fund to finance the needs of communities disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.
The most contentious issues that would have to be settled are determining who pays for the funds, how much, and what will be the basis for access, reporting, and financing mechanisms.
At its core, the envisioned loss and damage facility requires high-emitting countries to acknowledge their historical role in the climate crisis and take responsibility for it.
Ideally, the facility is to be governed by rules and modalities that leverage the best available science and risk data and lift the burden of proof from vulnerable communities. Innovative and responsive instruments utilizing a trigger-based and pre-arranged design must be made available to deliver an additional layer of protection for our communities.
Another issue to be tackled in COP28 is the progress of the Climate Finance Delivery Plan, which sets out when and how the developed world will meet its promise to mobilize USD100 billion per year starting 2020 for the adaptation and mitigation needs of developing countries.
A Progress Report on the Delivery Plan released last year projected that developed countries will collectively deliver the full USD100 billion this year and that climate finance flows for vulnerable communities in 2024 and 2025 will exceed US$100 billion, reaching the US$500 billion aggregate goal for the five-year period (2020-2024).
This year’s COP will be an opportunity for rich nations to provide more clarity on how they will deliver their commitments and unlock more climate finance by reforming institutions like the World Bank to align with the Paris Agreement.
Related to this, the World Bank Group has embarked on the development of an Evolution Roadmap that will spell out how the institution will operate moving forward, recognizing the multiple global crises that are setting back progress toward its goals.
This is an opportune time for the institution to revolutionize financing for vulnerable populations—to pave the way for an international financial architecture that is fit for climate.
Culture encompasses our ways of understanding and dealing with change, taking care of others and envisioning our collective realities—and must have a central role in building resilient futures. When technical expertise is pinned as the lens through which climate-related issues like finance are seen, we lose sight of the very real experiences accompanying the changes taking place in our very homes. Market-based solutions—the same ones that helped produce the climate crisis—will not be the main mechanisms to overcome the climate crisis.
This task requires a thorough revision of the very systems and relationships that sustain life.
And the guidelines for this, in large part, come from cultural understandings. Culture is not an add-on to socio-ecological factors considered primordial in allowing communities to prosper. It is precisely the system of values and beliefs that encompasses individuals, collectives and environments, which manifests itself in profoundly different ecological consequences.
And while culture—in the sense of living cultures—gives us our framework for relating to the places we inhabit, culture in the sense of creative expression assists us in interpreting (and reinterpreting) our world, and in communicating our visions with each other.
Culture lives outside any walls. Outside any conference. But there is a responsibility that comes with occupying spaces of power as well. As world leaders and decision-makers meet to determine the fate of many communities, the contributions of culture need to be spotlighted as valuable knowledge sources for collectively reimagining and creating paths towards regenerative planetary relationships.
Rooted in the conviction that culture, along with creative inquiry and storytelling, is vital to tackling the climate crisis, Agam Agenda and Climate Reality Philippines launched RewriteCOP in the lead-up to COP28.
RewriteCOP aims to democratize climate policies by allowing more people to voice their demands for better solutions through art and creative expression.
To rewrite COP28, our first call is an invitation to intervene in the World Bank’s evolution process through erasure poetry. How to?
Join us in creating traction for climate policies designed for the realities of the most vulnerable.
Follow Agam Agenda and Climate Reality Philippines to stay tuned for more calls to rewrite our futures.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Aina Eriksson is a Filipina-Swedish communicator passionate about intercultural translation and hybrid knowledge systems. Her experience ranges from science writing, policy engagement, and youth activism in the Nordics and South Africa. She joins the Agam Agenda after several years at Stockholm Environment Institute working with sustainable consumption and production, sustainable lifestyles, and education.
María Faciolince is a Colombian-Curaçaoan communicator, facilitator, ecofeminist activist and creative mind. Her previous work with EJAtlas and other research institutions, and current projects with Oxfam GB and Agam Agenda, are all guided by the need to reimagine and expand narratives around justice and ‘development’.
Kristine Galang is the communications lead of Climate Reality Philippines. She previously worked as head speechwriter of the former Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of the Philippine Climate Change Commission. Prior to working in the climate change sphere, she worked in strategic political communications.
ABOUT ELEVENTH HOUR
This article was originally published on The Climate Reality Project Philippines’ weekly column for the Manila Bulletin called Eleventh Hour.
This column serves a digital space to discuss our organization’s work on supporting the country’s just transition into a clean, affordable, and self-sufficient energy system; advancing sustainable urban mobility to highlight the issues of equity and democracy; and raising public awareness about the need to phase out single-use plastics. It also serves as a platform for Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders to share your stories, promote your climate initiatives, and provide critical insights to issues that matter to climate action, environmental protection, and sustainable development.