Calls for Ireland to publicly support “Loss and Damage” Funding in the run up to COP 27

Calls for Ireland to publicly support “Loss and Damage” Funding in the run up to COP 27

A major new report says profits from six fossil fuel companies in the first half of this year would cover the cost of major extreme weather and climate-related events in developing countries – and still leave them with nearly $70 billion in profit.

The Cost of Delay, by Oxfam and the Loss and Damage Collaboration, highlights how rich countries have repeatedly stalled efforts to provide dedicated finance, termed ‘Loss and Damage’ payments, to developing countries bearing the costs of a climate crisis they did little to cause. The report is a collaboration between a group of more than 100 researchers, activists, and policymakers from around the globe.

Oxfam have advocated for the taxing of energy and other major industries on windfall profits to help resource such payments.

Recent years have seen fossil fuel profits rocket while people in some of the poorest places on earth are left to foot the bill of the climate crisis. The report’s full title is ‘The Cost of Delay: Why Finance to Address Loss and Damage must be agreed at COP27.’

A mechanism for ‘Loss and Damage’ payments was first proposed in 1991.  Delaying and blocking tactics by rich countries have prevented any funding from being agreed to this day, as this report shows.

The ‘Cost of Delay’ report uses the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan this year as an illustration of the challenges.

  • At least 33 million people were directly affected.

  • Costs were estimated at over $30 billion.

  • The UN humanitarian appeal for the floods is set at only $472.3 million (just over one per cent of what is needed)

  • This inadequate appeal is only 19 per cent funded.

The huge gap between what is needed and what is being made available will have to be met by Pakistan. It must take out another IMF loan to help recover from the floods.

In contrast, funds from a Loss and Damage Finance Facility would be new and additional,  and come in the form of grants, to ensure the country was not burdened by debt in the aftermath of a climate-induced disaster.

“It is not too late to end this intolerable injustice,” said Oxfam CEO, Jim Clarken. “COP 27 starts in just two weeks and finance to address loss and damage must be agreed. News that the issue will be on the agenda for COP27 is welcome. An ambitious outcome is critical not only for those dealing with climate impacts in developing countries, but also for maintaining trust and credibility.

“Ireland has a real opportunity to show leadership by publicly supporting a Loss and Damage Facility in the run-up to COP 27.  Ireland’s political support to developing countries on this issue would send a hugely significant message among EU states.”

“We must end this delay. The best time to start was 31 years ago, the next best time is now.”

The report’s release comes a day before civil society representatives and Minister Eamon Ryan appear before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment and Climate Action to discuss Ireland’s approach to COP 27.

Oxfam Ireland has nominated the Kenyan climate activist, Elizabeth Wathuti, to appear before the Committee.  Elizabeth has been working alongside Oxfam over the last few months documenting the impact of climate breakdown in Africa. She will be attending COP 27 where she will advocate for Loss and Damage funding. She was recently included in Time Magazine’s 100 NEXT list. She was nominated by former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson.

Speaking about the release of the report, Elizabeth Wathuti said “We are witnessing devastating Loss and Damage right now. The impacts of climate inaction are claiming lives and livelihoods, displacing people from their homes, and millions are facing climate-related starvation. As the impacts of climate change start to land, the education and empowerment of women and girls also suffers, climate change is forcing girls out of schools. Loss and Damage is becoming the priority and defining issue for COP27.”

ENDS

Contact Information

For more information or interview requests, please contact: Clare Cronin, External Communications Manager, Oxfam Ireland 353+87+1952551

Notes to editors:

  • The full report ‘The cost of delay: why finance to address Loss and Damage must be agreed at COP27’ is available here. (link will go live on 24 October – pdf available on request)
  • The Loss and Damage Collaboration (L&DC) is a group of practitioners, researchers, activists, creative practitioners and decision makers working together to ensure that vulnerable developing countries, and the vulnerable people and communities within them, have the support they need to address climate change related loss and damage. L&DC represent a range of organisations including the Climate Leadership Initiative: Empowering the New Generation, the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN).
  • ‘Loss and damage’ broadly refers to the consequences of climate impacts which cannot be or have not been avoided through mitigation or adaptation. ‘Loss’ can refer to loss of lives, livelihoods or culture and ‘damage’ can be to infrastructure or ecosystems, among other things.
  • Data for the number of extreme weather events, people affected, and deaths were gathered from CRED’s Emergency Disasters database. This is a global database of natural and technological disasters which contains data on the occurrence and effects of more than 21,000 disasters around the world, from 1900 to present.
  • Data for fossil fuel profits of six major fossil fuel companies in the first six months of 2022 was gathered from the publicly reported Q1 and Q2 profits of BP, Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Total and Eni.
  • The costs of extreme weather events in developing countries in the first six months of 2022 were calculated using Aon’s Global Catastrophe Recap: 1H report.
  • Super-profits of the fossil fuel industry from 2000-2019 were estimated using Verbruggen’s 2022 analysis of oil and gas rents, available here. This uses World Bank data, which assesses the annual rents from crude oil, natural gas, and other resources. Numbers are expressed in US dollars in 2020 terms.
  • Data for the economic losses in 55 of the most climate-vulnerable countries between 2000 and 2019 was sourced from the V20’s 2022 report.
  • A methodology note is available for the report here.
  • According to Climate Action Tracker, current policies presently in place around the world are projected to result in about 2.7°C warming above pre-industrial levels.
  • Estimates for loss and damage costs in developing countries by 2030 are from Markandya and González-Eguino’s 2018 analysis.
  • The UN appeal page for the Pakistan flood response is here.
  • Africa emissions from Our World in Data: https://ourworldindata.org/co2-emissions
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