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Denmark sets precedent by providing compensation for ‘loss and damage’ from climate change

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Denmark announced its intention to allocate SEK 100 million (€13.4 million) to developing countries affected by climate change, setting a global precedent for compensation for “damage and loss” suffered by people living in the most vulnerable regions. to the effects of climate change. .

“This spring in Bangladesh, I saw with my own eyes the consequences of climate change, and this is something that needs more attention and focus,” Danish Development Minister Fleming Møller Mortensen said Tuesday in announcing the decision. of your government.

In particular, climatologists emphasize that Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, with millions of people at risk of displacement and becoming refugees due to sea level rise, hurricanes, cyclones, freshwater intrusion and river erosion. The World Bank said in a report released in late March that Bangladesh will have more than 19 million climate refugees internally displaced by 2050, nearly half the projected number for the entire South Asia region.

From words to deeds

The Danish minister added that “it is a serious injustice that the poorest suffer the consequences of climate change in a way that exceeds the suffering of others”, and highlighted that poor countries cause climate change much less than other countries. indicating that the developed world produces most of its greenhouse gases from its fossil fuel-powered factories and vehicles.

Mortensen added that it was time to move from serious conversation to serious action to compensate for the “loss and harm” caused by the world’s poor as a result of climate change.

For its part, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that 35 million Danish kroner (4.7 million euros) will be delivered to an organization based in Frankfurt, Germany, which works in the field of insurance support for poor countries. .

Another 32.5 million Danish kroner (4.4 million euros) will go to “the minister’s strategic partnership with civil society working in the area of ​​compensation for climate change-related losses and damages”, with a particular focus on the Sahel. . In a region that stretches across the North African desert, the Danish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Another 25 million Danish kroner (3.4 million euros) will be spent on “strategic efforts” that could boost negotiations on combating climate change in the run-up to COP27, which will take place from 6 to 18 November. .

According to the Danish government, SEK 7.5 million (€941,314) will be given to civil society actors working in developing countries to improve their performance under the effects of climate change.

International demand from oil companies

Denmark’s pledge came at a ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, where UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said at the opening of the UN’s annual General Assembly: “Today I appeal to all economies to tax the profits of large companies producing fossil fuels.

Guterres called for tax transfers for countries facing losses and damage from the climate crisis, as well as for people struggling with rising food and energy prices.

It should be noted that the United Nations World Food Program has emphasized that “the climate crisis is an issue that reflects global injustice, as global warming leads to an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, while weak and poor countries not. capacity and funding to mitigate and adapt to these impacts”.

In 2009, high-income countries that have produced the most emissions over time committed to providing $100 billion annually in climate finance by 2020 to help developing countries deal with the impacts of the climate crisis, but this target was not met. achieved. in 2020 and 2021″, says the report published on the World Food Program website.

Source: EuroNews

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