Scotland will announce new funding for climate change loss and damage suffered by vulnerable countries that goes beyond the realms of human adaptation, Sky News can reveal.
“We will announce a new financial commitment for loss and damage,” Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Sky News at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.
The extra money will “particularly address non-economic loss and damage that many countries are experiencing”, she said, which could include things like loss of culture and tradition.
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Economic losses encompass things like the loss of jobs due to collapsing industries, the loss of buildings due to hurricanes, or the loss of entire communities and towns as sea levels eat away at coastlines.
‘It would be another very important part of Scotland’s determination to see real progress behind this issue which should have been dealt with many years ago,’ the premier said in Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea .
During the The COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow Last year, Scotland became the first developed country to pledge funding for the contentious issue. The promised sum of £2m was small but helped break a taboo around the issue. Since then, Denmark has pledged DKK 100m (£11.8m).
But also since COP26, severe weather events have hit the world, from famine amid drought in the Horn of Africa, to 32 million people uprooted from their homes by severe flooding in Pakistan, surprising scientists by their gravity.
Further details of the new funding will be revealed on Tuesday, according to Sky News.
UN chief Antonio Guterres said the issue would be a “litmus test” of governments’ commitment at the COP27 climate talks, which get off to a proper start today.
Addressing world leaders, the secretary-general said the losses and damage “can no longer be ignored”.
“Those who contributed least to the climate crisis are reaping the storm sown by others. Many are blindsided by impacts for which they had no warning or means of preparation.”
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Vulnerable nations, which research shows have generally contributed the least to climate change but are suffering its worst impacts, have been asking for financial assistance for years.
The rich, polluting world, including the US and EU, has always been wary of what it fears would open the floodgates to endless claims and accusations of liability.
But the devastating effects of climate change have been so acute that countries have become more open to discussing it, despite fiercely resisting its portrayal as “compensation” or “reparations”.
COP27 opened yesterday with a breakthrough as the issue of financing these losses for the first time on the agenda of a United Nations climate conference. But countries have until 2024 to come up with a plan, far too slow for some, that underscores the savage impacts already being felt, especially in countries already in debt.
“The Prime Minister’s commitment to helping people facing the climate crisis is unprecedented,” said Harjeet Singh, longtime campaigner for loss and damages and head of global policy strategy at the Climate Action Network.
Mr Singh told Sky News he hoped the move would “inspire and put pressure on wealthy governments to recognize the huge funding gap to address climate impacts, such as loss of land, of homes and cultures”.
Former US Vice President turned climate activist Al Gore told world leaders that he “[supports] governments pay money for loss and damage and adaptation” – an important statement from a representative of the United States, who broke off talks on the issue last year.
“But let’s be very clear, it’s a question of billions or tens of billions. We need $4.5 trillion a year to make this transition,” he said, saying there needs to be unlocked. access to private capital.
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