There will be no ‘green recovery’ for poor countries without loss and damage finance
By Zoha Shawoo
South Asia is currently facing what has been described as the worst monsoon season of the past decade: 17.5 million people have been affected by flooding in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, according to the Red Cross/ Red Crescent.
Finance has been a key element in conversations about both climate change and Covid-19 over the past six months – conversations that coined the concepts of ‘green recovery’ and ‘building back better.’ In these contexts, finance has meant redirecting recovery investments away from carbon-intensive industries to promote greener, climate-compatible investments.
But these discussions ignore the fact that the impacts of climate change are already being felt by the poorest members of society, the people that extreme weather events impact most severely.
The current monsoons highlight that it is not enough to put money into ‘building back better’ – instead, developed countries need to mobilise additional finance to address the losses and damages that countries and communities are already facing as a result of climate impacts.
Establishing a loss and damage fund would demonstrate that developed countries are serious about meeting this commitment. It could also lead to better international cooperation with developing nations, such as through strengthened trade relations.