The second round of the Glasgow Dialogue kicked off on Thursday, June 8th as part of the work of SB58, the Bonn negotiations. As specified both by the Chair of SB58 (more precisely the Chair of SBI) and by the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, the Dialogue has the specific goal of continuing the discussion started with the COP27 on the fund for loss and damage (L&D) caused by the climate change crisis, and the related financial arrangements. More specifically, the 2nd Glasgow Dialogue has the function to allow the members of the Transitional Committee to gather the perspectives, proposals and suggestions expressed by the delegates of the various countries and civil society members in order to draft recommendations to be presented at the COP28 on how the fund should become operational.
In this context it is relevant to mention that the members of the Warsaw International Mechanism Executive Committee (we talked about it here) also take part to the dialogue, and able to provide the technical support gained within their five Action Areas:
- slow onset climate events;
- non-economic losses;
- comprehensive risk assessment;
- climate migration;
- action and support.
Thursday was the first of three days of intense work on the topic, and yet in this first session it already emerged – as one can well imagine – that the Countries have very differing positions on some key aspects about the structure of the fund to be set up for loss and damage recovery. More specifically, the discussions relating to the need (or not) to conceive the fund from scratch, and therefore independently from all the other existing climate finance networks, have caused a deep rift.
In this sense, Cuba presented a joint statement on behalf of the G77 (which mainly represents developing countries) and China, pointing out that the fund must be conceived as independent, aside the rest of climate finance and public in the form of non-repayable loans. The other countries of the Global South joined this declaration, motivating this request on the basis of the shortcomings and limits of existing climate finance. In fact, the latter seems to have proved as insufficient and inadequate to provide concrete help, and in some cases exposed to private interests often not aligned with the needs of the most affected populations, as well as posing serious ethical issues of climate justice.
On the contrary, the United States of America, together with Japan and other countries of the Global North, have made it clear that they do not welcome the creation of an independent fund under the umbrella of the UNFCCC. They would prefer instead to operate within the already existing funding programs and rather commit to an improvement of their functioning and capabilities in order to overcome the limitations that have emerged from their operational. In this sense, they also propose that private funds or the use of the Global Shield against Climate Risks (we talk about it here) should not be discarded.
Another stumbling point concerns the principles on the basis of which the fund should operate. In this regard, the Countries of the Global South are aligned demanding for the mandate of COP27 to be followed faithfully, as it foresees a fund based on the pillars of equity and responsibility, according to the principles legitimated by the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), more specifically the Art. 3 regarding common but differentiated responsibilities.
The target is clear: to focus on the historical responsibilities of the large CO2 emitters and to expect the fund to take them into account, on the way to a fair and equitable distribution of the financial resources in place.
The countries of the Global North, on the other hand, did not mention this aspect in their speeches, and seem they want to carefully avoid the topic. Nonetheless, they have openly acknowledged the need for the fund to work in favor of the most vulnerable populations, according to a multidisciplinary and multilateral approach, and through flexible mechanisms tailored to the specific needs of the communities involved.
The start was therefore a challenging one – as expected given the divergent interests at stake – even though over the next two days of dialogue the situation could evolve. Certainly, a positive outcome of the 2nd Glasgow Dialogue would be significant to lay down the foundations for fruitful discussions over Loss and Damage also towards the COP28.
Article by Erika Moranduzzo, ICN Volunteer
Cover image: photo by Erika Moranduzzo