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COP 23: EU and Australia refuse to pay for climate change-caused damage

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The world’s rich countries, including those in the European Union and Australia, say they strongly disagree with a proposal to include financing the impact of weather-caused disasters in “Loss and Damage” negotiations in the United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Bonn.

“We have to prioritise disaster, but not all disasters are fed by climate change,” said Australian negotiators in a prepared statement at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change, reports Asia Sentimental.

Loss and Damage, a term used frequently in the negotiations especially by developing and least developed countries, refers to permanent losses such as lives, species, and habitat and repairable damages such as roads and other infrastructures caused by the impact of climate change impact.

“It’s hard to relate specific extreme weather events to climate change. For example, the link between frequency of hurricanes and climate change is not properly defined, there is no statistical evidence,” Pierre Candelon, representative of the UNFCCC youth constituency YOUNGO explains what developed countries have argued in the last few days inside the negotiations.

“In terms of financial compensation, it’s hard to put it directly in climate change negotiations because extreme events depend on a lot of things — it depends on land use, if you destroy the mangroves or not, what kind of infrastructure you had before. It’s hard to attribute loss and damage to climate change,” Candelon added.

“Developed countries do not necessarily have the financial means or political will to support loss and damage,” Candelon said.

Loss and damage is being heatedly discussed at COP 23 and whether or not developed and developing countries will come to any agreement or compromise remains to be seen.