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Fossil Award to New Zealand for disappointing Saturday night statement on Loss and Damage Finance Facility

New Zealand acts ambitous, and then on Saturday night releases a disappointing statement on Loss and Damage Finance. 

Saturday night a perfect time to make an unsavoury statement expecting people to be winding down from a hard week and not paying attention. 

We see you New Zealand.

Press release: 

Always a great idea to release low-ambition climate statements late on a Saturday night when everyone is partying and maybe too hungover. But our sharp-eyed CAN members weren’t going to let Aotearoa New Zealand’s regressive intervention on the loss and damage agenda item go unnoticed and unchallenged. 

In a few words: a huge letdown.

New Zealand says in its statement:

“Establishing a fund without certainty around what that means would require high levels of confidence that we have a shared understanding of what we are working on, and how.  Listening to the interventions, it doesn’t seem we have this.” 

“NZ has said previously we think this is urgent.  We committed funding this week to underscore that point.  But we also think we need to get this right.”  

“At this COP we have an opportunity to move toward the shared understanding we need by agreeing on a few principles that ensure a fund is as useful as possible.” 

New Zealand started off looking like a true climate leader at this COP when they announced off the bat NZD 20 million for loss and damage finance but this latest intervention is a shameful about-face exposing their true allegiances – with other laggard-rich nations. While it´s clear details have to be discussed on the structure of a facility by 2024, we cannot wait another year to adopt a decision at a COP for the need for a loss and damage finance facility.  

If New Zealand truly wants to position itself as an ally to the Pacific and other climate-vulnerable nations, it needs to listen to them. Developing countries need a finance facility now. 

Reference:

Climate Action Network, Fossil of the Day, 14 November, 2022, New Zealand’s Midnight Disappointment https://climatenetwork.org/resource/new-zealands-midnight-disappointment/

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