Climate-vulnerable developing and least-developed countries, emitting less than 5% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, have lost approximately USD 525 billion in the past two decades because of the climate crisis. Given that global warming is set to increase to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels within the decade regardless of greater mitigation actions and more intensified adaptation interventions, countries least responsible for the climate crisis bear greater loss and damage in the next few decades. For some, these are merely economic numbers, but for the Global South, this means catalogs of more casualties and deaths, of more homeless and jobless people, of more families going back to poverty or falling down the poverty line.
We are in the era of loss and damage. We are now starting to see the limits to adaptation and how the climate crisis is compounding the risks for communities with limited resources and access to social safety nets.
Existing climate finance mechanisms, such as the Adaptation Fund, Green Climate Fund, Least Developed Countries Fund, and Special Climate Change Fund, do not address the loss and damage finance needs of these vulnerable communities. These mechanisms are limited, in terms of accessibility because of the stringent requirements they require and in terms of their inability to cover loss and damage. Humanitarian aid, on the other hand, is already overstretched and is also not tailored fit to respond to climate change impacts that occur without the drama of calamities but are slowly bleeding our economies.
This is why climate-vulnerable countries are pushing for a separate loss and damage facility that will assist in the recovery and restoration of poor communities affected not just by extreme weather events but also by slow-onset climate events.
In line with this, The Climate Reality Project Philippines and the Agam Agenda worked with African Climate Reality Project on this briefer on loss and damage.