Climate Change

Bonn Climate Conference 2024: 3rd Glasgow dialogue flags need for loss & damage cooperation

Global South voices lead call for clearer coordination, stronger mechanisms  

By Tamanna Sengupta
Published: Saturday 08 June 2024
@COP29_AZ / X (formerly Twitter)

The third Glasgow Dialogue on Loss and Damage took place at the 60th Session of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB60) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany this week. Spanning two days with three breakout sessions, the Dialogue covered Loss and Damage (L&D) and its mechanisms under the UNFCCC, including the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage (SNLD), the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) and the recently operationalised Loss and Damage Fund (LDF).

In the opening session, the co-chairs of each mechanism recalled the progress made to address L&D in the UNFCCC negotiations. Jean-Christophe Donnellier, co-chair of the LDF, noted the positive steps taken to form the Board of the Fund and to formalise its institutional arrangements and additional rules. 

Alpha Kaloga, co-chair of the SNLD, reiterated the aim of the mechanism is to catalyse technical assistance to address L&D. Camila Minerva Rodriguez, co-chair of the WIM, highlighted its role in enhancing knowledge, dialogue, and action to address L&D. All three stressed the need for better cooperation between countries and within the mechanisms to make L&D responses more robust.

Read more: Bonn Climate Conference 2024: Unpacking Article 6 talks in the first week

L&D as a negotiation topic has always had more voices from the Global South, where the impacts of climate change are most pronounced despite these countries contributing least to global emissions. The African Group of Negotiators (AGN), the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), and the Arab Group all highlighted the growing cases of L&D in developing nations. 

Calls for the SNLD, WIM, and LDF to have a clear relationship were also made, given that they each continue to have separate discussions despite having the same goal of addressing L&D. Coordination between the three would address gaps and improve resource mobilisation for developing nations, said the AGN.

In the first breakout session, countries were asked to highlight their experiences in dealing with L&D and any learnings on improving responses. Vanuatu and Fiji, both island nations at risk of going underwater due to sea level rise, stressed the importance of a framework for the relationship between the SNLD, WIM and LDF. 

Such a document would enable countries to develop the required response systems and mobilise resources as needed. The Maldives, along with Fiji, noted that a sub-goal including L&D is needed under the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) on climate finance — the headline issue of the upcoming 29th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP29). 

Explicit inclusion of L&D in the NCQG is a standing demand of the Global South negotiating blocs, who believe such a sub-goal would improve financial assistance to respond to L&D. Such a move would also underscore the responsibility of developed nations, who have emitted the most greenhouse gases historically, to provide finance to developing nations facing impacts today.

The second breakout session more specifically asked countries to emphasise the technical interventions that would improve their response to L&D. Early Warning Systems, which predict the risk and impact of extreme weather events and can therefore minimise L&D, were the most popular request from countries. Vanuatu, Togo, Indonesia, and the Arab Group emphasised this point. 

The next important intervention was highlighted to be the timely provision of finance. Bangladesh stressed that international frameworks are often difficult to translate into regional responses due to differences in circumstances. What would be useful, according to them, is to improve the process for impacted countries to access post-disaster financial assistance. 

The island nations also suggested a needs assessment for L&D which would include non-economic loss and damage, capacity building, and the integration of L&D into national plans.

Read more: Bonn Climate Conference 2024: Stage set for new climate finance goal enroute to Baku

In the third and final breakout session, countries focused more on the existing challenges they face under L&D. Nepal, Fiji, Kiribati, and Peru mentioned that coordination — both at the international and national levels – after an extreme weather event is a key challenge. 

At the international level, this includes accessing finance and capacity building, while at the national level, it involves coordinating between the government and locally impacted communities. The AGN also highlighted that for countries facing compounding impacts, the coordination challenge is magnified.

The island nations also suggested a trigger-based funding mechanism or a timeline-based provision of funds for the countries that have faced devastating impacts and remain most vulnerable. The Global South interventions also pointed out that responses have to be tailored to the unique contexts of each country and therefore individual vulnerability and needs assessments are a must.

While the formalisation of the LDF has proved useful in pushing forth the importance of funding for loss and damage, the 3rd Glasgow Dialogue showed that it is now time to ensure there is clarity on the framework of L&D as a whole with a defined relationship between its key mechanisms.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.