This morning the government announced a dedicated allocation of NZ$20 million in climate funding to address loss and damage in developing countries. It is part of the $1.3billion climate finance commitment announced in October 2021 and delivers on commitments to deal with the impacts of climate change that are not covered by funding for adaptation measures.
For the first time ever, Loss and Damage was included on the agenda of the UN Climate Summit COP27. Frontline communities and climate campaigners celebrated the monumental moment earlier this week since losses and damages are unequally distributed. To date, New Zealand is one of only four countries to make a loss and damage commitment alongside Scotland, Denmark, and Austria.
According to the Executive Director of 350 Aotearoa, Alva Feldmeier, the New Zealand government’s decision to dedicate funding for Loss and Damage is a huge step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough: “We are disappointed that no new funding has been announced and instead the previous 1.3bn climate finance commitment is used to get brownie points on a global stage. New Zealand and other global North countries need to make meaningful contributions to Loss and Damage and this announcement is not it. Last year, the 10 worst climate disasters alone saw $170 billion in damages.”
Tayyaba Khan, New Zealand Pakistani and 350 Aotearoa spokesperson said, “the scale and devastation of the recent floods in Pakistan are yet another example of the loss and damage predominantly borne by the global South. The widespread devastation to nature, critical infrastructure and people is irreversible and the world seems to have moved on from this crisis.
I would love to see Aotearoa New Zealand focus on supporting Pakistan in recovering some of their recent economic & non-economic losses to do our bit for climate justice.”
Feldmeier added, “with ten more days of negotiations at COP27, we hope that in addition to this announcement the New Zealand delegation will support Loss & Damage to be a standing agenda point at each COP. Aotearoa has the potential to prove themselves as strong advocates for Pacific Island Nations and developing countries.”
Alva Feldmeier, firstname.lastname@example.org