At COP negotiations each year, Loss and Damage is an important dialogue that involves developed and developing countries collaborating on the urgency of climate change impacts, mitigation, and adaptation. The name is as clear as it sounds: Loss and Damage refers to when climate change results in extreme loss and damage beyond the impacted country’s ability to recover and adapt.
The sequence of extreme weather events on every continent this past year has taken a huge humanitarian and financial toll. After superstorms Irma and Maria ravaged the Caribbean Islands and the Gulf Coast, millions of Puerto Ricans are still waiting for power to be restored. In South Asia, 41 million people are struggling to rebuild homes washed away by unprecedented flooding, and across sub-Saharan Africa, 38 million farmers are grappling with food shortages following two consecutive years of drought. It’s clear the devastating effects of climate change are already at our doors.
With Fiji leading this year’s COP, the ramifications for low-lying communities is clear as the threat of sea level rise threatens their survival. Citizens from Fiji have already had to move their villages and homes to higher ground, abandoning sacred sites that commemorate their ancestors. Kathy Jetnil-Kijner, a poet from the Marshall Islands, speaks to how her homeland can’t survive a 2ºC temperature rise.
Loss and Damage at it’s core is an issue of equity. Should developed countries that have built their economies on fossil fuels and are the major emitters of carbon take responsibility for countries that have contributed almost nothing to global emissions, but are significantly impacted by climate change? Countries most vulnerable to climate change, including low-lying island nations often have almost no resources to mitigate, recover and adapt.
Next week, discussions will resume amongst Parties about the $100 billion that developed countries pledged to support developing countries by 2020 with climate change impacts. Stay tuned.
Climate Generation Delegation Blogs
You can also check out student blogs from youth delegates representing the School of Environmental Studies students at COP23.
Mark your calendar for the COP23 webcasts at 12 p.m. CST throughout the experience!
November 8: Watch Espoir, Ian, and Cheryl discuss the first few days in Bonn and how it feels to be an American at the conference.
November 9: Watch Ellen Anderson and Leigh Currie discuss American presence at COP23 and what they plan to do once they return to Minnesota.
November 14: Click here to join the CLEAN (Climate Literacy) Network webinar featuring John and Adri.
November 15: Click here to join Minority Leader Melissa Hortman’s webinar on the presence of local U.S. government and leadership in Bonn.
November 16: Click here to join Aurora’s webinar as she discusses the role of Indigenous leaders and her climate action experience in Bonn.
Save the Date
Don’t miss our post-COP23 panel on November 27th, 12 to 1 p.m. CST, featuring representation from Governor Dayton’s office and our Minnesota delegates as they reflect on the Bonn Climate Talks. Attend in person or tune in digitally through our live webcast.
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