At COP26, negotiations are tense on the issue of financing the consequences of climate change

Once again, the deep and punchy voice of Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados, resonated at COP26 in Glasgow (Scotland). “Loss and damage is a denial of the reality of the climate crisis, a denial that 20% or 30% of humanity already live in the red zone, a denial that there is a front line for change climate “, she thundered. The politician, who had already launched a vibrant call to action at the opening of the 26e United Nations climate conference, was this time invited to speak – by videoconference – during the day devoted to adaptation and loss and damage, Monday, November 8.

This technical subject, given a complex name as only the UN processes can imagine, sums up all the sensitive issues crystallized by the climate conference: issues of inequalities between developed and developing countries in the face of global warming, responsibility, and therefore of what the North is indebted to the South, and of the growing mistrust of the most vulnerable countries vis-à-vis the richest.

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The losses and damages, recognized by the Paris agreement of 2015, refer to the irreversible damage caused by climate change, which cannot be avoided either by actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or by adaptation. .

These are both the consequences of brutal events, such as cyclones or floods, and the slow effects of warming, such as rising sea levels, land degradation or their salinization. Such events cause deaths, economic losses, but also effects on health, on development, forced migration or make regions uninhabitable. This damage affects all States, but it affects more strongly and more durably the least developed countries, which lack the means to deal with it and minimize its effects. However, these are the countries that are least responsible for climate change. Faced with this « injustice », the countries of the South call for more “Solidarity” from those in the North.

Economic but also cultural damage

All the more so as these losses and damages keep getting worse. They have been estimated at between 290 billion and 580 billion dollars per year until 2030, and up to 1,700 billion dollars (1,470 billion euros) in 2050, for the sole economic consequences in developing countries. . “But there is also all the loss of social, cultural, traditional, warns Raeed Ali, a resident of Fiji and a member of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition. In Fiji, faced with rising seas, six communities have already been relocated and forty-three will soon be. People lose part of their identity, because they have a connection with the land where they were born which is very strong. “

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