Loss and Damage is an important topic that will be discussed at cop27 in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Why do we constantly hear about "loss and damage"?
Extreme weather events caused by climate change, such as tropical cyclones, desertification, and rising sea levels, cause costly damage to nations.
Because the intensification of these otherwise "natural disasters" is primarily caused by the increase in greenhouse gas emissions from industrialised nations, developing nations, which are frequently the most affected, argue that they should be compensated.
Denmark made headlines during the most recent high-level week of the United Nations General Assembly after announcing that it will donate $13 million to developing nations affected by climate change.
The issue of these payments, known as "loss and damage," will likely be a major topic of discussion at COP27, even though it has not yet been formally added to the agenda.
The Group of 77 and China (which essentially consists of all developing nations) has requested that it be added to the agenda, which will require the agreement of all nations on the first day of the talks.
There have been discussions regarding the establishment of a Loss and Damage fund, but nothing concrete has occurred. Ian Fry, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate, hopes to generate additional momentum and "get it done."
"There are significant developed nations that are quite concerned about this issue and are examining it from the polluter-pays perspective. Now, the countries most impacted by climate change and suffering the associated costs must bear those costs on their own.
During a recent interview with UN News, he stated, "It's time the big countries, the major emitters, stood up and said, 'we've got to do something, we've got to contribute to these vulnerable countries.'"
How does the Ukraine conflict impact all of this?
According to Ilana Seid, Permanent Representative of Palau to the United Nations and climate negotiator, the current sociopolitical climate and energy crisis will make this COP "confusing."
"Because of the war in Ukraine, there are a great number of things that so many countries agreed to but now cannot do. The landscape has changed because of the war", she explained.
Indeed, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused inflation, energy, food, and supply chain crises on a global scale. Countries such as Germany have had to temporarily scale back their climate goals, and the China-US Climate Working Group that was announced in Glasgow has been suspended.
Special Rapporteur Ian Fry believes that the war could serve as a "wake-up call" for countries to become energy independent.
He argues that renewables, which are essential for reducing emissions, are the most cost-effective way to achieve this.
"We're seeing Portugal move toward 100 percent renewable energy, and we know Denmark is doing the same," he told UN News. "I believe this will convince other nations of the need to be renewable and energy independent."