Climate Summit In Poland Must Ensure Justice To Vulnerable People, Demand Activists


Amidst the devastating storms in the Philippines, China and the USA, floods in Nigeria, India and record temperatures in many parts of the world, the United Nations body to address climate change impacts met in Bonn. The meeting addressed proposed recommendations for climate change displacement and undertook intense discussions on the scope of an important report on finance for loss and damage, amongst other issues. Civil society representatives present at the meeting were dismayed by a continued lack of progress due to blocking from rich countries on key issues.

The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) is due to celebrate its fifth anniversary which lends itself to the question ‘what has the WIM achieved in the last five years?’ As the upcoming climate summit (COP24) will again be held in Poland, it is time for the country where the loss and damage mechanism began, to take responsibility for putting it back on track.

The vulnerable people and countries facing the worst impacts of climate change urgently need more finance to help them to cope. A recent report showed that the majority of costs of loss and damage are paid by poor people and countries, including the example of Hurricane Maria, which decimated Dominica a year ago, and where only 23% of the loss and damage from the storm was provided in various forms of finance (see below*).


The loss and damage mechanism has an objective to mobilise finance for loss and damage – and it has been widely criticised for not meeting this objective.