Loss and damage included in Paris agreement draft text

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Dhaka Tribune, Paris, France

Negotiators have compromised and come closer to an agreement on the key issue of “Loss and Damage” meant to provide compensation to climate vulnerable countries.

There were differences on this issue among the governments meeting in Paris, but it has been included in the draft text of the proposed agreement, which is going forward to the ministerial discussion starting tomorrow.

In recent years, least developed and small island states have been pressing for compensation for the losses and damages arising out of climate-related events. Bangladesh has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries.

“Finally, the issue was included in the draft text and it will go for further review in the ministerial meeting,” Dr Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCAD), told the Dhaka Tribune.

He said the LDC group is pressing hard to get a separate article on “Loss and Damage” while developed countries are trying to keep it under the adaptation chapter.

The draft released yesterday invites all parties to reduce the risk and address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change.

It said that a climate change displacement coordination facility shall be established to help coordinate efforts to address climate change induced displacement, migration and planned relocation.

“We are still unhappy as the draft does not contain a provision that can ensure compensation for the people facing climate induced displacement,” said Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, coordinator of the Climate Equity and Justice Network.

The US and the European Union expressed concern that if liability and compensation were linked to this, it could become a massive legal and financial headache for them.

To find a compromise, the US has been meeting with the AOSIS group that represents 44 small island states.

Addressing a press conference in Paris on Friday, US lead negotiator Todd Stern said compensation and liability was a “line we can’t cross” but hinted that progress was being made.

“I think we can come up with something that allays the fears of the EU and US where liability and compensation are concerned without us giving up any rights that we currently enjoy under existing international agreements,” US Senator Fletcher said.