Friday, November 17, 2017

2750. Statement: Climate Damages Declaration

Editorial note: The following undated statement is taken from the Stamp Out Poverty website today (Nov. 17, 2017) and so far has been signed by over sixty climate justice, ecological and social justice organizations, including System Change not Climate Change , a U.S.-Canadian ecosocialist network of which I am a member.  KN

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We, the undersigned:

Observe, with mounting alarm, the ever growing numbers of people whose homes are lost, lives disrupted, critical ecosystems imperilled and livelihoods ruined due to the damage inflicted by an increasingly hostile climate bringing hurricanes of greater intensity, devastating floods and encroachment of rising seas
Note that vulnerable countries, communities and ecosystems on the frontline of catastrophic climate change now face, due to lack of meaningful progress to reduce carbon emissions to date, changes in climate beyond the ability of people and ecosystems to adapt to – a phenomenon described as ‘Loss and Damage’
Recall the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 (COP21) where countries agreed to pursue efforts to keep temperature rise to 1.5C and where ‘Loss and Damage’ was officially recognised as a separate pillar alongside ‘Mitigation’ and ‘Adaptation’, building upon the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) established in 2013 at COP19
Further note that the WIM has yet to make progress on its core mission of delivering finance for addressing loss and damage
Further observe that the countries and communities most deeply affected by irreversible climate change did not create these conditions, yet are paying the price of this damage whilst, at the same time, the fossil fuel industry – responsible for approximately 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions [1] – continue to profit while bearing none of the costs consequent from the use of their products
Declare that, consistent with the ‘polluter pays’ principle, it is now time for the industry most responsible to pay for the damage it has caused, and for vulnerable countries worst affected to receive the financial assistance they so urgently need.
To this end, we demand and commit ourselves to advocating for:
  • The establishment of an initiative for loss and damage finance with a two year work plan identifying sources of revenue adequate to the scale of the problem in a predictable and fair way;
  • the introduction of an equitable fossil fuel extraction charge – or Climate Damages Tax – levied on producers of oil, gas and coal to pay for the damage and costs caused by climate change when these products are burnt, implemented nationally, regionally or internationally
  • the use of the substantial revenues raised to be allocated through the appropriate UN body, such as the Green Climate Fund or similar financial mechanism, for the alleviation and avoidance of the suffering caused by severe impacts of climate change in developing countries, including those communities forced from their homes
  • the urgent replacement of fossil fuels, by mid-century at the latest, with renewable sources of energy assisted by increasing the rate of the Climate Damages Tax over time

Your organisation may sign the Declaration –> here 

[1] The Carbon Majors Database, CDP report, July 2017

Signed by:

  1. Naomi Klein (Canada) – Author/filmmaker
  2. George Monbiot (UK) – Journalist/author
  3. Maya Goodfellow (UK) – Journalist
  4. Ambassador Ronny Jumeau – Seychelles

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