08 December 2022

COP27 Conference outcome: Loss and Damage Fund established, but emissions continue unabated

The establishment of a Loss and Damage Fund for destruction caused by climate change was a key issue at the recent COP27 conference. Why did this topic emerge, and why are some countries demanding such a fund?

In November, representatives from 140 nations, including Timor-Leste, met at COP27 in Egypt. COP27 was the latest annual UN Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The conference’s mandate was to decide on processes or mechanisms to respond to the climate crisis. The conference concluded on 20 November with an historical agreement to create a special fund to pay for the impacts of climate-related disasters in developing countries.

Prior to the conference, representatives of some developing countries promoted the idea of a fund to pay for losses and damages. Since COP26 last year, the world has observed increasing impacts from climate change - including floods in Pakistan that killed more than 1,700 people, and floods in Nigeria that displaced more than 1.3 million. Timor-Leste is also being hit by climate change - for example, unstable rain patterns have damaged coffee harvests and many farmers have observed the impact on agricultural cycles. Farmers in Los Palos and Viqueque recently told La’o Hamutuk researchers that rising water levels in rice field was hurting harvests. The impacts we see today will become more serious in the future, as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

At the same time, the UN has observed that wealthy nations that have contributed most to the climate crisis have failed to take sufficient action to limit climate change in the future. As a result it has become nearly impossible to limit climate change to 1.5°C, which means that the impacts of climate change will became extremely severe. Who will be responsible to help the victims?

This is why some countries proposed to create a loss and damage fund at the conference. At last year’s COP26, the US and EU blocked such a fund from being started, replacing it with a ‘dialogue’ without a clear objective. At the COP27 conference, proponents again put the fund on the agenda.

In 2022, the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) published a report on the economic impacts of climate change in 55 highly vulnerable nations (including Timor-Leste), concluding that their GDPs were reduced by 20% over the last two decades because of climate change, leading to a combined loss of $525 billion. Many of the most vulnerable countries do not have adequate resources to deal with these impacts, even though many other nations have gotten wealthy through industries and lifestyles that produce nearly all the atmospheric changes that are causing climate change.

For a long time, the climate movement, including La’o Hamutuk in Timor-Leste, have insisted that the climate crisis needs to be resolved in a way that is just. Climate justice means that wealthy nations which have caused most of the changes in climate should bear the greatest share of responsibility for the impacts experienced by developing countries. It is unjust for developing countries to face a dual crisis, firstly because of the direct impacts of climate change on people and the environment, and secondly from the economic burden of managing or responding to those impacts – widening and reinforcing global inequality.

CVF launched the “Payment Overdue” campaign to raise awareness about this issue. They point out that climate catastrophe has become a permanent reality, and therefore wealthy nations need to pay their debt. Proponents of a Loss and Damage Fund argue that humanity cannot adapt to all of the impacts of climate change, and that many of the countries facing the most serious impacts have not caused the problem. They demand compensation from wealthy nations who have contributed the most to causing the problem, to pay the costs of responding to impacts can we cannot adapt to. Nabeel Munir, Pakistan’s representative to COP27, said that “loss and damage is not charity - it’s justice.” 

In their final agreement, COP27 participants decided to create a Loss and Damage Fund. Important details, such as which countries will be obliged to pay into the fund, will be determined in the future, and it is important for civil society to continue to monitor this process.

Unfortunately, although developing countries won a loss and damages fund, COP27 failed to agree on urgent measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As La’o Hamutuk has long pointed out, the world cannot continually adapt to ever-worsening conditions. Adaptation programs and a Loss and Damage Fund can help vulnerable people respond to impacts of climate change that are already unavoidable, but there is only one genuine solution to climate change: stopping greenhouse gas emissions. Some high-emissions countries succeeding in removing key parts of the final COP27 agreement, leaving the agreement with no strong obligation for those nations to immediately stop emitting greenhouse gases. 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that “Our planet is still in the emergency room. We need to drastically reduce emissions now – and this is an issue this COP did not address.” COP27 failed to make progress on lessening the causes of climate change. However, the example of the Loss and Damage Fund demonstrates that developing countries, working together, can force wealthy nations to act. In the future we need to increase pressure on those nations that continue to exacerbate the climate crisis.

Resources from La'o Hamutuk about climate change in English (more Tetum resources here - scroll to end):

Rezultadu husi COP27: Fundu Indenizasaun sei realiza, maibé emisaun gás estufa sei kontinua nafatin

Fundu indenizasaun (Loss and Damage Fund) ba buat ne’ebé lakon ka hetan estragu nudár rezultadu mudansa klimátika sai ona tópiku manas ida iha konferénsia COP27 ne’ebé foin remata. Tanba sá mak asuntu ne’e mosu, no razaun saida mak nasaun balun ezije hela ba fundu espesiál ida?

Iha fulan Novembru, reprezentante husi nasaun 140 liu hasoru malu iha konferénsia COP27 iha nasaun Ejitu. COP27 mak hanesan konferénsia alto nivel Nasoins Unidas nian, no membru ba konferénsia ne’e kompostu husi governu hirak ne’ebé asina no sai ona membru UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), inklui Timor-Leste. Mandatu husi Konferénsia ne’e atu deside prosesu ka mekanizmu sira atu responde ba krize klimátika. Konferénsia ida ne’e remata iha dia 20 de Novembru ho konkordánsia istóriku ida, atu kria fundu espesiál atu selu kustu impaktu dezastre ne’ebé akontese nudár rezultadu mudansa klimátika iha nasaun sira ne’ebé foin dezenvolve-an.

Molok konferénsia ida ne’e komesa, reprezentante husi nasaun foin dezenvolve-an balun promove ideia indenizasaun ba buat ne’ebé lakon ka hetan estragu. Dezde konferénsia COP26 tinan kotuk, mundu tomak observa duni impaktu maka’as husi mudansa klimátika - inklui inundasaun iha Pakistaun oho liu husi ema na’in 1,700, no inundasaun iha Nigeria ne’ebé dezloka ema na’in 1,300,000. Iha Timor-Leste bele observa nafatin impaktu husi mudansa klimátika iha rai laran - ezemplu ida mak katak udan ne’ebé la tuir tempo fó impaktu ba produsaun kafé no ai-han, no toos na’in barak haree impaktu ba sira nia siklu agríkola. Peskizadór La’o Hamutuk foin lalais ne’e rona husi toos na’in iha Los Palos no Viqueque katak bee sa’e iha natar laran halo produsaun la’o la di’ak. Impaktu ne’ebé ita bele observa hela, se sai aat liu ba iha futuru tanba emisaun gás estufa sa’e nafatin.

Iha tempu hanesan, Nasoins Unidas observa katak nasaun riku sira ne’ebé kontribui maka’as liu ba krize klimátika ida ne’e, falta atu foti asaun nato’on atu limita mudansa klimátika iha futuru. Ho nune’e, kuaze la iha posibilidade katak ita bele limita hamanas iha atmosfera ba grau 1.5°C, entaun impaktu husi mudansa klimátika sei sai grave tebes. Se mak sei responsabiliza atu ajuda vítima sira husi impaktu?

Ho nune’e, nasaun balun hakarak diskute asuntu indenizasaun iha konferénsia ida ne’e. Iha konferénsia COP26 tinan kotuk, EUA no Uniaun Eropa konsege prevene kriasaun fundu indenizasaun, sira konkorda de’it atu hala’o ‘diálogu’ ida la ho objetivu klaru ida. Ba konferénsia ida ne’e, iha esforsu tan atu hatama asuntu ida ne’e ba iha ajenda.

Relatóriu ida husi Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) ne’ebé publika tinan ne’e, kona ba impaktu ekonómiku husi mudansa klimátika ba nasaun 55 ne’ebé vulneravel tebes (inklui Timor-Leste), evidénsia hatudu katak impaktu husi mudansa klimátika halakon 20% husi PIB (Produtu Internu Brutu) nasaun sira nian durante dékada rua liu ba. Totálmente, nasaun sira ne’e lakon ona biliaun $525 tanba impaktu mudansa klimátika. Barak husi nasaun vulneravel hirak ne’e, laiha rekursu adekuadu atu hasoru impaktu mudansa klimátika, maske nasaun dezenvolvidu sira nia riku soin liu indústria sira ne’ebé kria emisaun gás estufa barak no kria problema mudansa klimátika ba mundu tomak.

Kleur ona, movimentu ba justisa klimátika iha mundu tomak, inklui mós La’o Hamutuk iha Timor-Leste, ezije katak ita presiza resolve krize mudansa klimátika ho maneira ne’ebé justu. Prinsípiu justisa klimátika nian katak, nasaun riku sira ne’ebé kontribui maka’as liu emisaun no estraga klima, tenke simu responsabilidade maka’as liu no mós responsabiliza impaktu aat ne’ebé nasaun foin dezenvolve-an sira hasoru nudár rezultadu husi mudansa klimátika ne’e. La justu se nasaun foin dezenvolve-an hasoru krize duplu, primeiru tanba impaktu diretamente husi mudansa klimátika ba ema no ambiente, no daruak todan ekonómiku atu selu kustu jere ka resolve impaktu husi mudansa klimátika sira. Tendénsia ida ne’e bele haluan no hametin tan dezigualdade mundiál ba futuru.

CVF lansa kampaña hanaran “Pagamentu Tarde” (Payment Overdue), ne’ebé iha objetivu atu hasa’e koñesimentu kona-ba asuntu ida ne’e; tuir CVF, katástrofe klima sai ona realidade permanente, no nasaun riku sira ne’ebé kria emisaun barak tenke selu sira nia ‘deve’. Proponente sistema indenizasaun haree katak ita la bele adapta aan ba kada impaktu husi mudansa klimátika. Sira observa mós katak nasaun barak ne’ebé hasoru impaktu maka’as husi mudansa klimátika, la halo asaun signifikante ne’ebé kria problema ida ne’e. Sira ezije indenizasaun husi nasaun riku sira, ne’ebé kontribui maka’as ba problema ida ne’e, hodi bele selu kustu responde impaktu sira ne’ebé la bele prevene ka adapta-aan ba. Nabeel Munir, nudár reprezentante Pakistaun nian ba COP27 dehan “indenizasaun la’ós karidade - ne’e justisa.”

Afinál, iha konkordánsia finál husi COP27, partisipante sira konkorda duni atu kria fundu espesiál. Aspetu no detallu importante, hanesan nasaun saida mak sei iha obrigasaun atu kontribui ba fundu ne’e, sei determina iha periodu tuir mai no importante katak sosiedade sivíl bele tau matan nafatin ba negosiasaun ne’e.

Infelizmente, maske nasaun foin dezenvolve-an sira manán Fundu Indenizasaun, husi perspetiva seluk COP27 falta atu hamosu konkordánsia forte kona ba urjénsia atu hamenus emisaun gás estufa. Hanesan La’o Hamutuk kleur ona hatudu, mundu la bele adapta-an ba klima ne’ebé sai nafatin aat liu. Programa adaptasaun no Fundu Indenizasaun bele ajuda populasaun vulneravel atu responde ba impaktu husi mudansa klimátika ne’ebé la bele evita, maibé iha solusaun ida de’it ba mudansa klimátika: hapara emisaun gás estufa. Nasaun balun ho nivel emisaun ne’ebé aas liu konsege halakon liafuan husi konkordánsia finál COP27 nian, ho rezultadu katak la iha obrigasaun forte ba nasaun sira atu hamenus kedas emisaun gás estufa.

Antonio Guterres nudár Sekretáriu Jerál ONU nian, dehan “ita nia planeta sei iha sala emerjénsia hela. Ita presiza tebes atu hamenus emisaun agora - asuntu ida ne’e COP ida ne’e falta atu konsidera.” Ho nune’e, husi perspetiva emisaun, COP27 la oferese solusaun. Maibé ita bele aprende husi ezemplu Fundu Indenizasaun, katak nasaun ki’ik sira bele luta hamutuk atu konvense nasaun boot no riku atu foti asaun ne’ebé nesesáriu. Ba oin ita tenke aumenta presaun ba nasaun sira ne’ebé falta atu hamenus ho loloos sira nia emisaun gás estufa no kontribui maka’as ba krize klima ne’ebé ita hasoru hela.

Le'e informasaun tan husi La'o Hamutuk kona-ba Mudansa Klimatika: