THOSE countries most vulnerable to climate change, such as those in the Pacific islands, will not be able to reverse the terrible impacts nor recoup the loss experienced.
That’s why the Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts (WIM) was mooted in 2013.
This year, at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocco, it is clear that more evidence and research is still required on the loss and damage faced by many countries as a result of climate change impacts.
But, in a pre-emptive move, the developed countries once again downplayed the scientific evidence to stall the negotiation process.
It is up to these developed countries to negate their rhetoric and stop attempting to stifle the negotiations. The lives of a billion people are at risk from the increasing effects of climate change, especially those irreversible impacts.
The urgency expressed by vulnerable regions such as the Pacific must be respected if mutual respect and trust are to be kept alive.
What can developing countries do in the meantime? At government level, they will need to determine policies, laws and practices to try to contain loss and damage and enhance in-country capacity to cope with climate change.
There’s also a need to deal with relocations due to climate change as well as non-economic impacts like loss of culture, pride, identity and sovereignty.
Such factors are emerging more strongly as internal displacement grows due to climate change impacts on our small island developing states.