Do not Hold up an International Mechanism on Loss and Damage at CoP19

 Switzerland, UK
 Climate Change
 19th Nov 2013

More than 100 organisations call on ministers from key developed countries to act

WARSAW, POLAND (November 19, 2013 - Of the 190 countries represented at COP19 in Warsaw, five countries – Australia, Japan, Canada, US, Norway - and the EU – are standing in the way of establishing an international mechanism on climate change loss and damage, international NGOs ActionAid, CARE and WWF said during a press briefing today.

The agreement on a mechanism would unlock the ability of the UN climate forum to begin to address climate change impacts where countries cannot adapt, or which will not be covered by adaptation and mitigation measures in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“They must not stand in the way of establishing an international mechanism in Warsaw. If this is not resolved by Ministers who arrive today, it could undermine the potential for a new global climate change deal to be concluded in 2015, through further delaying action,” the NGOs said.

More than 100 organisations have signed an open letter to all Ministers attending COP19 to “stop the madness” and act now to establish the international mechanism on loss and damage.

The letter calls on UN member states to build on the agreement at COP18 thatgthe UNFCCC’s role on loss and damage includes enhancing knowledge and understanding; strengthening global coordination and coherence; and enhancing action and support to address loss and damage.

Harjeet Singh, International Coordinator, disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation at ActionAid, said: “As we fail in dealing with the unprecedented climate impacts such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, we need a new robust system to be established in Warsaw. Sea levels are rising. Marine life is dying. Some species are being permanently lost. Any further delay in tackling climate impacts will mean more poor women and men losing lives, homes and incomes.”

Sven Harmeling, Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator of CARE International, said: “The world has now entered the ‘era of devastating climate change-induced loss and damage’. The collective failure of Governments to adequately mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and support necessary adaptation actions means that vulnerable communities, ecosystems and countries face increasing loss and damage due to climate change impacts on an unprecedented scale. Correcting this failure is urgent and increasing mitigation and support for adaptation in developing countries is crucial, but no longer sufficient.”

Sandeep Chamling Rai, WWF’s senior advisor for Adaptation Policy, said: “Humans have lived in harmony with nature for centuries. Now we are in conflict because of the impact of CO₂ emissions on our climate. Science is telling us that there is no time for inaction and no time to lose. The decisions by Ministers in Warsaw will forever shape the future we inherit.”

ActionAid International is a global movement of people working together to achieve greater human rights for all and defeat poverty. We believe people in poverty have the power within them to create change for themselves, their families and communities. ActionAid is a catalyst for that change.

CARE is a leading humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. CARE is helping the most world’s most vulnerable communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. Last year CARE worked in 84 countries and reached 122 million people around the world. Visit

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries.  WWF’s mission is stopping the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change and a move to 100% renewable energy through engagement with business, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling green finance and working nationally and internationally on low carbon frameworks.

For further information, please contact:

Jessica Faleiro, ActionAid, International advisor - Research and Communications for Resilience, Tel: +48 730 430065/ +44(0)7720497867 or Tricia O'Rourke, International Media Manager, Tel: +44 785 03 1 2438 tricia.o’
Jo Barrett, CARE International, climate change press and communications co-ordinator, +44 (0)7940 703911,
Mandy Jean Woods, WWF Global Climate & Energy Initiative Head: Communications & Campaigns,, Skype: mandibles-sa, @climateWWF

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