The Global Shield, the German-led G7 / V20 collaborative partnership designed to provide protection against climate-related risks, was officially launched on Monday at COP27. 

Germany announced an initial €170m of funding, along with France, Ireland, Canada and Denmark, which announced an additional €41.7 million. United States Climate Envoy John Kerry also attended the  launch, backing Biden’s earlier statement that his country was proud to support the Shield and that this was the beginning of a greater effort. 

These announcements come at a time when a decision to establish a loss and damage finance fund appears to be increasingly unlikely as Global North nations are once again deploying delay tactics, advocating for a potential decision at COP 29 in 2024. A successful COP 27 will ultimately be based on whether or not a loss and damage finance fund is established here in Egypt, and we cannot let anything else distract from this ultimate goal.

Many of the outspoken proponents of the Global Shield have been among the most notorious blockers of loss and damage. They have delayed and obstructed any sort of meaningful progress since the subject of a financial mechanism for loss and damage was introduced by Vanuatu on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States in 1991.

At COP 26, the Group of 77 nations and China were in lockstep to establish a Glasgow Loss and Damage Facility, but their hopes were ultimately crushed by the United States and other rich nations in the final hours of the negotiations. The plans have been in place for a decision, and it is clear that certain parties are blocking this fund in a stunning failure of elementary morality.

While we understand the V20 is supportive of the Global Shield and agree that there are some useful elements, particularly in regards to its V20 L&D funding program that could benefit frontline and vulnerable communities, the Shield is in no way a substitute for a decision to establish a proper fund in Egypt. The role of insurance is limited and if proposed in the current desert of funding options for loss and damage it is deceiving. 

The announcement of the Global Shield pledges already reach the nations public in countries such as Costa Rica, celebrating $215 million USD as if funds will be allocated to protect homes and businesses. The scale of this pledge is insignificant compared to the trillions of dollars needed to address the economic and non-economic loss and damage, but also it obscures the fact that these resources are for an insurance scheme that will burden the economy. False solutions created outside the UNFCCC that divert attention from the core political demand, a fund for new, additional and non-loan funding for the most vulnerable.

This year, we are seeing cataclysmic climate events in Pakistan and elsewhere around the world and the situation is certain to get worse in the coming years. The priority should be to provide frontline communities in the Global South with the resources they are owed, rather than a complex insurance scheme.

Over the last 30 years, we have seen parties embrace half-measures and false solutions to deal with a crisis that is spiraling out of control. Obstructing justice and ignoring our suffering has a price, we are here to collect with a fund.

We are calling for meaningful action at COP27 rather than a photo op from the Global North while the can is kicked down on the road on a loss and damage fund.

Quotes:

“Developed countries are stripping the Global South of its rights to claim liability and compensation at COP27. Yet this is not enough for the EU and US. The opposition to the fund is fierce. Countries like Germany do not hear the demands of victims, but impose one-way solutions and seek to shield themselves from responsibility. COP27 is the place to create the fund and send a political message: climate-intensive economies are unfeasible. 

Adrián Martínez Blanco, Director, La Ruta del Clima

“Latin America at this moment is experiencing the impacts of climate change every day, we demand an immediate response, which does not limit our development or lead us to more indebtedness, but which allows us to ensure our communities opportunities and security for their future. We are not willing to wait any longer and see how the Global North continues to offer us solutions that limit our development.

Adriana Vasquez, Administrative Director, La Ruta del Clima

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