A storm in Tuvalu, real needs for "loss and damage"

The UNFCCC delegates and a few of observers have had a long night. The closing plenaries of the two subsidiary bodies for the implementation (SBI) and for the scientific and technical advice (SBSTA) started late in the afternoon and finished early in the morning. Especially SBI, where three major issues had to be discussed: civil society participation, loss and damage and the budget of the UNFCCC (for 2012 and 2013). After a long session that started at 17:30 to finish at 2 in the morning, only two of these main points were discussed: the civil society participation and loss and damage.

The resolved two topics have been intensively discussed by the parties and especially the item concerning loss and damage. Loss and damage is a kind of insurance system against/for? climate related natural disasters occurring in the developing countries. For example, in the case of the last floods in Pakistan, this system could have been activated to meet the urgent needs of the populations displaced or affected. Saudi Arabia wanted to include a reference to response
measure (a system to allocate money to the oil countries for the loss of revenues due to the decrease in fossil fuels consumption). All the countries, except Qatar (who hopes to host the next COP in 2012) refused on the grounds that response measures is related to mitigation and not adaptation. After a TINY modification of the text at 2am this morning, the chair, Robert Owen-Jones adjourned the meeting.

The other issue discussed was the enhancement of the civil society participation in the negotiations. As usual, Saudi Arabia, and more exceptionally Antigua and Barbuda tried to undermine the participation capacity of the civil society whereas all the other groups and countries wanted to make the UN process more transparent and open. The
draft decision was amended and our ability to participate reduced, we will see next year how this new decision plays in the negotiations. As of Friday morning, the discussion on budget for the UNFCCC still remained.

At 12:30am, the chair is going to resume the SBI session and the delegates are now going to discuss the budget of the UNFCCC. Through the Cancun agreements, the parties gave more work to the Secretariat for the organisation of the workshop, the redaction of the technical papers… In consequence, the UNFCCC had to increase its budget by 15%
to meet all its objectives, money that most of the developed countries are not really keen to provide.

The process may block again. Money, commitment, mitigation, some countries always have a good reasons to stop the process from moving forward!

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  • Jennifer Doherty0986

    While the Earth has always endured natural climate change variability, we are now facing the possibility of irreversible climate change in the near future. The increase of greenhouse gases in the Earth?s atmosphere from industrial processes has enhanced the natural greenhouse effect. This in turn has accentuated the greenhouse ?trap? effect, causing greenhouse gases to form a blanket around the Earth, inhibiting the sun?s heat from leaving the outer atmosphere. This increase of greenhouse gases is causing an additional warming of the Earth?s surface and atmosphere. A direct consequence of this is sea-level rise expansion, which is primarily due to the thermal expansion of oceans (water expands when heated), inducing the melting of ice sheets as global surface temperature increases.
    Forecasts for climate change by the 2,000 scientists on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) project a rise in the global average surface temperature by 1.4 to 5.8°C from 1990 to 2100. This will result in a global mean sea level rise by an average of 5 mm per year over the next 100 years. Consequently, human-induced climate change will have ?deleterious effects? on ecosystems, socio-economic systems and human welfare.At the moment, especially high risks associated with the rise of the oceans are having a particular impact on the two archipelagic states of Western Polynesia: Tuvalu and Kiribati. According to UN forecasts, they may be completely inundated by the rising waters of the Pacific by 2050.According to the vast majority of scientific investigations, warming waters and the melting of polar and high-elevation ice worldwide will steadily raise sea levels. This will likely drive people off islands first by spoiling the fresh groundwater, which will kill most land plants and leave no potable water for humans and their livestock. Low-lying island states like Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives are the most prominent nations threatened in this way.“The biggest challenge is to preserve their nationality without a territory,” said Bogumil Terminski from Geneva. The best solution is continue to recognize deterritorialized states as a normal states in public international law. The case of Kiribati and other small island states is a particularly clear call to action for more secure countries to respond to the situations facing these ‘most vulnerable nations’, as climate change increasingly impacts upon their lives

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