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Press release  •  4 min

COP27: Canada must join vulnerable nations fighting for a loss and damage fund

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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, EGYPT, 17 November 2022 - With only one day left before COP27 is scheduled to end, at the crunchiest time of the UN negotiations, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada (CAN-Rac) is calling on Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault to join vulnerable nations working to ensure that the climate conference reaches a historic and ambitious agreement that responds to the needs of those on the front lines of the climate crisis.

Climate-vulnerable countries came to Sharm el-Sheikh to demand justice, as they grapple with devastating impacts caused by the gargantuan emissions of rich nations. Canada must stand in solidarity with those most affected and fight for the following issues to be in the cover decision, the main agreement countries reach at COP27:

  • A financial facility set up under the UNFCCC to address climate-induced loss and damages in developing countries. The Alliance of Small Island States and other developing countries have made it clear that loss and damage is the litmus test that will determine the success of this COP, and the demand has gathered unprecedented momentum. Canada must not allow the United States or other wealthy countries to sabotage this historic moment.

  • The phase-out of all fossil fuels, recognizing that fossil fuel expansion is incompatible with a 1.5°C-aligned future and that the transition to renewables will bring greater energy stability, affordability, and community benefits. Canada must support India’s proposal to include the phase down of all fossil fuels in the cover decision and commit to moving first and fastest, in line with a Just Transition that centers workers and their communities and is anchored in social dialogue.

  • Keeping in reach and delivering on 1.5°C. The UNFCCC synthesis report published last month showed that we are heading to climate catastrophe if countries do not revise their current plans. Countries – in particular those like Canada who have not yet fulfilled their Glasgow commitment to do so – must strengthen their 2030 climate targets as soon as possible to close the ambition and implementation gaps to 1.5°C.

  • A strong political signal on the need for an ambitious agreement on nature and biodiversity protection to be reached at the COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal this December. The climate and biodiversity crises are intertwined and must be addressed together, following the leadership and science of Indigenous Peoples.

  • Developed countries to develop a roadmap for doubling adaptation finance by 2025, as they committed to doing last year in Glasgow. Countries must dedicate 50% of all climate finance to adaptation, which saves lives and prevents losses and damages yet remains severely underfunded and neglected.

The cover decision is the final text that countries agree upon at the end of COP, a strong political message which sets out the way forward. It must build on and increase ambition from the Glasgow Climate Pact. The clock is ticking, and at 8400 words, the draft cover decision released last night by the Egyptian Presidency is still far from a streamlined and manageable proposal.

“Now is the time to fight for climate justice,” said Eddy Pérez, International Climate Diplomacy Director for Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada (CAN-Rac). “It would be an utter disgrace for Canada and its rich country allies to let COP27 close without establishing a financial facility for loss and damage. We need to seize this chance for political agreement on the scientific fact that a safe future requires a managed phase-out of all fossil fuels. We need to lay the ground for an ambitious way forward on adaptation and on biodiversity. We cannot tell the people on the front lines of escalating climate impacts around the world that they must wait until another year for justice.”

“Canadian Ministers have made disturbing comments that echo the oil industries and Saudi Arabia’s position that we don’t need to stop expansion of oil and gas and decline production — and so we expect that they are part of the reason this text is so weak. The science is clear that we need to stop expansion now and wind down production and emissions. The fact that Canada is denying it and COP27 has not included that in the text is a testimony to the power of the oil and gas companies who are holding our planet and climate policy hostage,” said Tzeporah Berman, Chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and International Program Director,

“The text needs clear language on Just Transition, a social dialogue with the workers at the table. The idea of including the workers and human rights in the final text is not frivolous. It is about decent work and quality jobs all around the world, it is about gender equity and respect of Indigenous People. Canada needs to be a strong voice to make sure we are included and resist the pressure of some countries who want to erase mentions of human rights,” said Patrick Rondeau, Environmental and Just Transition advisor, Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ)

“The countries most vulnerable to climate change have been resolute: the litmus test for this COP is the creation of a loss and damage fund, which must be named in the cover text. Canada must continue to stand up loudly as a champion for delivering loss and damage finance. As the tenth largest historical emitter, Canada should make sure this money is not just promised but delivered,” said Julie Segal, Senior Manager Climate Finance, Environmental Defence Canada.

“No strong and inclusive loss and damage mechanism and insufficient funding means vulnerable communities will not receive the support they need following climate catastrophes. It is denying people food, water, health care and educational and agricultural infrastructure. Canada must act on its responsibility in causing climate change and advocate for stronger and effective language that won’t dilute the cover letter commitments,” said Albert Lalonde, student climate justice organizer and project manager at the David Suzuki Foundation.

"With only hours to go before the end of COP27, Canada must inspire collective ambition, not hinder it. This is the minimum if it wants to remedy its many domestic inconsistencies. Adaptation has been undermined during this summit, and the framework decision must breathe new life into this issue. With adaptation needs in developing countries estimated at $70 billion per year right now, it is crucial that Canada push for a framework decision that requires new, additional and easily accessible funds. Canada is making great promises on climate finance, but is also slow to deliver. Let's choose climate justice," added Andréanne Brazeau, political analyst at Équiterre.


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