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Dhaka Tribune

Experts want loss and damage to be an agenda at COP27

Loss and damage mainly refer to the impacts of climate change that cannot be avoided through mitigation or adaptation

Update : 29 Sep 2022, 07:32 PM

Loss and damage from human-induced climate change have been a major priority in several recent global events, experts have said, demanding holding polluters accountable for their harmful acts to the environment. 

They also urged that COP27 should commit to establishing a Loss and Damage Financial Mechanism to support the climate-vulnerable nations. 

This was highlighted in a dialogue arranged by Climate Trends and International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) on Wednesday, according to a press release.

The webinar was attended by Dr Saleemul Huq, director, ICCCAD; Harjeet Singh, head, Global Political Strategy, CAN International; Dr Anurag Danda,

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF); Shreyansh Jain, Accenture; and Farah Kabir, country director, ActionAid Bangladesh.

Loss and damage mainly refer to the impacts of climate change that cannot be avoided through mitigation or adaptation. It signifies the consequences of climate change that go beyond what people can adapt to. In addition to economic losses and damages to households, communities, infrastructure and industries like agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism, loss and damage also encompasses “noneconomic” losses to lives, cultures and territories.

Dr Saleemul Huq said: “The overwhelming fact is that climate change is already happening and we have entered the era of climate change. The evident heatwaves in Europe, floods in Pakistan and hurricanes in Florida have evacuated millions of people and these events will continue. So we have entered the era of attribution of facing loss and damage. 

“We have to adapt, deal with the consequences but also react to the causes. It is time to work with neighboring countries in cooperation and solidarity and exchange

knowledge among countries.”

Harjeet Singh said: “Loss is a story of thirty years of inaction. It’s about injustice and violation of human rights. It’s about the greed and apathy of rich countries and corporations.”

Dr Anurag Danda mentioned that: “People of Sundarbans do not create problems but face the consequences of climate change. Hence, we need to demand justice not only at the international level but also at the domestic level. Another loss, which would not qualify as damage is the loss of ecosystem services on account of

the slow onset changes. Species are migrating that were of significance to the people of Sundarbans.”

Dr Huq also mentioned that: “Loss and Damage have been accepted as a provisional agenda and not fully included in the upcoming COP27 agenda. Europe has provided some funding and supported the loss and damage financing as they acknowledge the consequences.”

Farah Kabir shared a story of a climate-vulnerable woman, Aktar Banu, from Bangladesh, who lived on an island. Farah mentioned that she accompanied her to

a World Bank meeting and Banu raised a question about how she could gain assurance to live on her own land as she had to move 26 times due to disasters. 

Farah emphasized that: “Climate change is affecting everyone in many ways. At COP27, we will unite to promote the notion of asking for loss and damage finance. As we will not be able to adjust and accommodate the climatic threats forever, we must fight for loss and damage.”

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