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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Will COP27 serve another cup of illogical gender-blind climate justice?

Logic is the bedrock of sound decision making and an important ingredient for justice. Illogicality breeds injustice.

Women and Gender Constituency
Members of the Women and Gender Constituency at the Bonn Climate change Conference 2022

How illogical will a judge be, if s/he orders a perpetrator to pay restitution to a victim whose car’s windshield was broken, but refuses to order even a bigger restitution when the car was burnt to ashes?

The above scenario describes the incoherence of the “climate judges” and the grave injustice they have served the developing and vulnerable nations who contributed little or nothing to the climate crisis caused by the developed nations. How incoherent are the “climate judges” when they are ok with financial mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation but have blatantly denied the developing nations suffering irreversible losses and damages associated with the impacts of climate change, financial resources to address these losses and damages? According to an African saying, “this is witchcraft!”

Strong evidence continues to emerge that calls for a need for financial resources to address losses and damages after the developed countries blocked G77 and China’s proposal for a Loss and Damage Finance Facility at COP26. According to the latest IPCC Working Group II Report – Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – “Losses and damages escalate with every increment of global warming” and “…are not comprehensively addressed by current financial, governance and institutional arrangements, particularly in vulnerable developing countries.”

The report also reveals that “limits to adaptation have been reached in some ecosystems.” With increasing global warming, losses and damages will increase and additional human and natural systems will reach adaptation limits.” The report also reveals that “Even effective adaptation cannot prevent all losses and damages.”

Already, women, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable populations especially in developing countries are disproportionately suffering the impacts of climate change. Losses and damages caused by climate change impacts is making women and other vulnerable populations, and will continue to make them, if not reversed, more and more vulnerable without the ability to adapt. Losses and damages from the impacts of climate change have caused loss of lives of women and other vulnerable groups to extreme climatic events such as cyclones, floods, and drought. It has caused migration and loss of weather-dependent livelihoods for women and loss of indigenous territories and cultural identities.

If losses and damages will have no place in the global climate talks which is about addressing climate change impacts, then we wonder what it is about. Maybe it is about big corporations, maybe it is about profit. We want to remind Parties that climate change crisis will not be over without addressing losses and damages.

Gender inequalities will exacerbate if COP27 fails to deliver on a funding facility to address losses and damages. SBI 56 has provided opportunity for parties to throw their weights behind a loss and damage finance facility, but countries like USA thinks there is no use having one.

We are watching out for the illogical judges who are bent on frustrating climate justice for vulnerable populations and groups. We hope they do not serve another cup of gender-blind climate injustice at COP27.

By John Baaki

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