Open letter to Ministers attending COP 18 on a new framework to address climate change Loss and Damage



Posted on 05 December 2012  | 
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Dear Minister,

The world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and many fragile and
precious ecosystems, are already being hit by the devastating impacts of
climate change. As a coalition of NGOs and civil society groups representing
millions of people who are extremely concerned about our changing climate,
we are calling for urgent action to tackle loss and damage, starting with
dramatically up-scaled commitments on mitigation and adaptation at COP 18
in Doha.

Scientists increasingly warn of the impending dangers posed by climate
change. The past 12 months have provided some of the starkest indicators
that climate impacts are unfolding much faster than previously modelled. This
year has seen an increasing number of severe floods and droughts and
dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice - all cause for alarm. In spite of these
realities, political leaders are still failing to act with sufficient ambition.
Globally, we are well off track to meet commitments on emissions reductions
to keep average global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Because of past inaction by developed countries and the sheer severity of the
problem, we have now entered a new era of ‘loss and damage’. The first and
foremost response must be to immediately and drastically cut emissions, and
help vulnerable countries and ecosystems adapt to new climate realities.
Governments must now also recognise that we are in a ‘third era’ of climate
impacts and address and redress the permanent loss and damage that is
resulting from unavoided and unavoidable climate impacts.

Poor countries and communities least responsible for the global climate crisis
are also the most vulnerable. Given historic inaction by developed countries,
we are heading towards the biggest social injustice of our time.

Responding requires a new framework under the UNFCCC to address loss
and damage. This requires new approaches on finance, compensation and
rehabilitation. It also requires consideration of non-economic losses including
loss of culture, ecosystems, indigenous knowledge and territory that will result
from climate change. The adverse effects from slow-onset disasters such as
sea level rise or changes in rainfall patterns that lead to migration,
displacement and relocation also need urgent attention.

Therefore, governments must act in Doha to:
• Establish an International Mechanism for Compensation and Rehabilitation,
under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties;

• Ensure global leadership and coordination carried out through the
Adaptation Committee

• Continue the work programme on loss and damage under the Subsidiary
Body for Implementation (SBI), with active coordination and
collaboration with the Adaptation Committee and the Subsidiary Body
for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), which at a minimum
should focus on:

-Assessment of Loss & Damage at national level, in particular with
respect to slow onset events

-Approaches to address Loss & Damage, particularly for slow onset
events

We have no time to lose to limit emissions, increase adaptation and support
and establish a framework to address loss and damage.

Sincerely,

1. ActionAid International
2. Action on Churches Together (ACT Alliance)
3. Amigos del Viento Meteorología-Ambiente-Desarrollo (Uruguay)
4. Bolivian Platform on Climate Change
5. Bread for the World
6. CARE International
7. Christian Aid
8. Climate Action Network – Europe
9. Climate Action Network – South Asia
10. Center for International Environmental Law
11. Centro Humboldt (Nicaragua)
12. CNCD 11.11.11
13. Concerned Citizens against Climate Change
14. Ecodefense (Russia)
15. Forests of the World
16. Friends of the Earth (England, Wales, Northern Ireland)
17. Friends of the Earth (US)
18. Greenpeace
19. Fundacion Centro de Estudios Ecologicos de la Republica Argentina
20. Kiribati Climate Action Network
21. Healthy Planet UK
22. Iceland Nature Conservation Association (INCA)
23. International Centre for Climate Change and Development
(Bangladesh)
24. International National Trusts Organisation
25. Nektarina Non Profit
26. Paryavaran Mitra (India)
27. Plataforma Climatica Latinoamerica
28. MAUDESCO/SARCAN (Mauritius)
29. Nature Trust Malta
30. Organismos no Gubernamentales de Honduras ASONOG.
31. Oxfam
32. Practical Action
33. Stichting CXI AD(aptation) Group
34. Sustainability Watch
35. Taiwan Environmental Protection Union
36. The Cayman Institute
37. La Cooperative de Profesionales para el Desarrollo Integral
(COPRODI) (Nicaragua)
38. HumanityWatch (Banglasesh)
39. La Concertación Regional para la Gestión de Riesgos de
Centroamerica Reza, Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh
40. World Team Now
41. WWF International
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