Addressing the aftermaths of climate change, the controversial “loss and damage mechanism” was approved by UN governments in 2013 and re-approved in 2015 Paris agreement. How much it would cost, who would pay, and what it would cover were not stated clearly, though.
The recent hurricanes, Irma and Harvey, which caused damages in billions of US dollars and left many people dead in Houston and Florida, would spark another feud between poor island nations and wealthy top fossil-fuel-consuming countries in the upcoming climate talks.
The gravity of recent hurricanes can be attributed to the climate change brought about by warmer air and water, scientists claim. However, such claims have been questioned by the US Environmental Protection Agency as an effort to politicize natural disasters.
In reference to the recent storms, Ronny Jumeau, UN ambassador from Indian Ocean Island nation Seychelles said, “If ever there was a case for loss and damage, this is it.” Maldives’ environment minister, Thoriq Ibrahim, adds “Hurricane Irma graphically shows the destructive power of climate change and underscores that loss and damage isn’t some abstract concept, but the reality of life today for the people who contributed least to the problem.”
The US Congress and President Trump have extended their doubts on global warming and vowed to withdraw support from the global fight against climate change. Other rich countries have been resisting to compensate for the smaller nations’ climate-related losses and damages.