Campaigners urge COP27 to tackle loss and damage issue

As COP27 climate talks resume for a second week, environmental group Greenpeace has warned hope and progress can only be restored if the microphone is taken from the polluters and handed to people from impacted communities and countries.

It said to succeed, the COP27 must agree to establish a dedicated financial facility for loss and damage, secure adequate adaptation and green transition funding for developing countries and accelerate fossil fuel phase out in line with 1.5°C.

Yeb Sano, executive director, Greenpeace Southeast Asia and Head of the Greenpeace delegation attending the COP explained: “People and the planet are being side lined, pushed to the fringes and into the corners of COP27, buried beneath corporate logos and fossil fuel lobbyists. This is supposed to be more than just a process COP, it is supposed to be the Africa COP, where the voices of the hardest hit by climate impacts should be the loudest and the outcomes dictated by the needs of people and planet not the greed of polluters.”

“If trust is to be built and hope kept alive the microphone and pen must be taken from the polluters and handed to the people. Money flows should be diverted from fossil fuel and big farming subsidies to sustainable local alternatives. Every day of delay and every dollar denied will be measured in destroyed lives, livelihoods, ecosystems and economies.”

“Loss and Damage made it onto the agenda after unusually long discussions, late into the night, in Sharm el-Sheikh, it must now be part of the definitive outcomes. Developing countries must stay firm in demanding a dedicated Loss and Damage finance facility is agreed.”

He added: “It is time to stop quibbling about billions and change the system to redirect trillions from causing climate change to funding climate action and just transition. If Covid has shown us anything over the last two years, beyond reminding us that no one is safe until everyone is safe, it is that when the political will is there vast rivers of money can be redirected in an instant.”

Mbong Akiy Fokwa Tsafack, spokesperson, Greenpeace Africa  added now is the time to tackle fossil fuel use.

“Fossil fuels must be phased out; they must be kept in the ground! The richest and most responsible countries and companies must pay for adaptation to climate impacts now and in future,” she explained. “Africa’s backyard will not become Europe’s forecourt. In the face of droughts, floods, cyclones and heatwaves devastating African lives and livelihoods, loss and damage must be matched by an even greater commitment to phase out fossil fuels and provide clean, safe decentralised renewable energy to the 600 million Africans dealing with energy poverty.

“The dash for African gas will be resisted by the efforts of hundreds of millions of Africans seeking an end to a century-long colonial legacy of extraction and exploitation.”