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Earth Today | AOSIS bats for multilateral fund to support SIDS

Published:Thursday | October 27, 2022 | 12:07 AM
Fallen electricity lines, metal and tree branches litter a street after Hurricane Ian hit Pinar del Rio, Cuba, on September 27.
Fallen electricity lines, metal and tree branches litter a street after Hurricane Ian hit Pinar del Rio, Cuba, on September 27.

THE ALLIANCE of Small Island States (AOSIS) is championing the creation of a multilateral fund to enable developing countries to afford the cost of responses to loss and damage associated with climate change.

“There are clear gaps in existing funding arrangements to adequately assist developing countries in meeting the cost of their ex-post (after the fact) responses that aim to address non-economic and economic loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events,” AOSIS said in a briefing document for the media, published on October 19 on its website,

AOSIS has, since 1990, represented the interests of some 39 small island developing states (SIDS) and low-lying coastal developing states, including Jamaica and others in the Caribbean, in international climate change, as well as sustainable development negotiations and processes.

A part of the answer, the group maintains, is an agreement to establish “a new, fit-for-purpose multilateral fund designated as an operating entity of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Financial Mechanism”; and “a commitment for the further design and operationalisation of the multilateral fund through the agreed sub-agenda item, and an ad hoc committee for inter-sessional work that complements the Glasgow Dialogue-mandated events”.

This should follow, they said, the smooth adoption of the agenda item by the upcoming 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) before work begins and acknowledgement of the gaps in existing funding arrangements, “especially under the UNFCCC, as well as the urgent and immediate need for new, additional, adequate and predictable financial resources to assist developing countries to meet the cost of the ex-post responses to loss and damage”.

In June 2022, G77 and China requested a sub-agenda item on both the COP 27 and CMA 4 (fourth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement) provisional agendas under ‘Matters relating to finance’, that is titled ‘Matters relating to funding arrangements for addressing loss and damage’.


“This sub-agenda item would delve deeper into loss and damage response financing, and provide a space to build consensus on how this could be comprehensively addressed,” explained the AOSIS briefing document.

At the same time, the AOSIS has advanced its defence of the operation of the proposed fund as a UNFCCC operating entity of its Financial Mechanism.

“The UNFCCC, as the international climate change regime, has a responsibility to contribute in the global response to climate change, which includes enhancing such support to developing countries on a cooperative and facilitative basis,” the briefing note said.

“The global response under the convention and the Paris Agreement is based on internationally agreed principles of historic responsibility, common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances, equity, and protection of the vulnerable, especially the particularly vulnerable, such as SIDS and LDCs (least developed countries),” the document added.

Also forming a part of their arguments is that the proposed fund will enjoy multilateral, consensus-based legitimacy as an operating entity; as well as “be required to have an equitable and balanced representation of all parties within a transparent system of governance, which is not guaranteed outside of the UNFCCC”.

“The effective implementation of the convention and the Paris Agreement by developing countries requires new, additional, predictable, and adequate financial resources, taking into account their needs and priorities, which includes those for supporting loss and damage responses,” AOSIS insisted.

“The UNFCCC Financial Mechanism and its operating entities, including this proposed multilateral fund, serve both the entire convention and the Paris Agreement. This multilateral fund would, therefore, be a crucial component of the Financial Mechanism to make it fit-for-purpose for this effective implementation,” it added.