Climate Action Network – EU hypocrisy as a ‘climate champion’ exposed at Bonn climate conference

Climate Action Network International reports from the Bonn UN Climate Conference, where western leaders are supposed to be making good on their promise at COP26 to address the issue of compensation for global south countries worst affected by climate change, but are blocking all efforts in that direction – with the EU leading the way.

Picture by Climate Network Action International

THE Bonn Climate Conference showed the disconnect between the negotiation rooms and the reality on the ground of people suffering from climate-induced loss and damage. Discussions across various issues offered no new breakthroughs – on overall finance, adaptation and emission reduction actions.

Despite their reassurances from COP26 to take finance and addressing loss and damage seriously through the last two weeks rich countries, particularly the EU, Switzerland and the USA, consistently stalled progress on discussions on loss and damage on the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage and on putting loss and damage finance on the formal agenda towards getting an outcome on a loss and damage finance facility from COP27.

The stark warnings from the IPCC report earlier this year and recent climate catastrophes all around the world seem to have made no dent in the moral and political landscape of historical polluters. While countries like Germany shop around for new sources of fossil fuels in the context of a brutal war in Ukraine, they refuse to commit to additional and scaled-up finance for communities who have done the least to cause this climate crisis and are experiencing unavoidable impacts even at 1.2°C.

Developing countries stand united in their demand for a loss and damage finance facility and ask for discussions on loss and damage finance to be on the agenda at COP27.

This uncertainty and lack of leadership from rich polluters set up challenges ahead of the G7 summit in two weeks, and in building trust before COP27.

Chiara Martinelli, Director, Climate Action Network Europe:

“People and the planet cannot afford the EU’s irresponsibility and lack of ambition that we have witnessed over the last weeks in Bonn and at home. The EU completely misses the point of what it is to be a climate leader. The EU should stop blocking progress on loss and damage and increase finance for adaptation. European countries also urgently need to massively ramp up their climate and energy targets, rather than displace oil and gas from Russia with those from developing countries, further locking them into fossil fuels. That’s what climate leaders should do.”

Teresa Anderson, Global Lead on Climate Justice, ActionAid International: 
“With the climate crisis escalating every day, countries from the global south, representing six out of seven people on the planet, were united in their plea for funding to help them recover and rebuild in the aftermath of climate disasters. But rich countries, particularly the EU, spiked the discussion about loss and damage at every single turn. Whether it was about setting up a new finance facility, providing funds, organising technical support, or even just including the issue on the agenda for discussion at COP27 later this year, rich countries continued to block, block, block.

“At this very moment, 20 million people in the Horn of Africa are hovering on the brink of famine. There is a terrifying disconnect between the real world and some rich country negotiators who live in safe bubbles and feel able to turn their backs on the rest of humanity.” 

Catalina Gonda, Climate Policy Co-Coordinator, FARN Argentina: 

“It has been quite frustrating to see developed countries, once again, deliberately boycott discussions on adaptation and financial support for the most vulnerable people. Latin America and the Caribbean is already suffering tremendous and irreversible damages from climate disasters. Communities all over the region are being displaced, inequalities are being exacerbated, and critical ecosystem services supporting millions are being lost. We need real leadership and signals from rich countries that COP27 won’t be another talk shop, but a moment when concrete solutions and a finance facility to address climate impacts are finally delivered.” 

Nithi Nesadurai, Director & Regional Coordinator, Climate Action Network Southeast Asia:

“The negotiations here at SB56 have been problematic. Various Parties from the Global North have been quick to block discussion on issues crucial for the Global South including Loss & Damage. In addition, given the ongoing expansion in fossil fuel infrastructure around the world, particularly in Southeast Asia, which will affect the 1.5C limit goal, the painstakingly slow progress on key issues including mitigation, showed that Parties were out of touch with reality.”

Jacquiline Massao, Assistant Coordinator, Climate Action Network Africa:

“The wealthy nations desire to maintain the climate negotiations as a forum for corporate development, advocating phony solutions to serve their own interests. We have witnessed at SBs how rich nations are attempting to entice African and Asian nations into the use of fossil fuels, limiting our participation by denying us visas and obstructing the real needs of vulnerable populations about Loss and Damage and Adaptation. We are not dimwits; we see through all the dirty dealings. We guarantee you won’t have it easy at COP27.”

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