Loss and damage should lead to recovery

The Loss and Damage Fund – A Pledge for the Future and a Reflection of Our Humanity

Establishing the Loss and Damage Fund at COP 27, primarily due to the tenacious advocacy of Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, marks a pivotal moment in climate justice. For the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), this fund represents a promise—a promise that the international community should not stand idly by as the most vulnerable suffer the consequences of a warming planet.

The Leadership of Mia Mottley

Prime Minister Mottley’s leadership has been a beacon of hope. Her impassioned pleas for the establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund have echoed through the halls of power, bringing the existential threats faced by SIDS into sharp focus. Her vision for a world where no country is left behind in the wake of climate disasters has inspired a global movement and set a precedent for future climate action.

The Necessity of Inclusive Representation

The success of the Loss and Damage Fund is contingent upon its representation. It must not only listen to but be led by the voices of those it seeks to aid. The nations most affected by climate change should have a significant say in the fund’s governance, ensuring that lived experiences and practical knowledge inform the solutions crafted.

The Urgency of Raising Capital

The urgency with which capital must be raised for the fund cannot be overstated. The Caribbean’s experience, particularly the devastation faced by Dominica, which saw hurricanes decimate its GDP, agriculture, and housing, underscores the critical need for swift financial support. The fund must be ready to mobilise resources immediately, providing immediate relief and long-term resilience.

A Lesson from the Caribbean’s Struggles

The Caribbean’s recent history with natural disasters is a stark reminder of the urgency we must act. The hurricanes that ravaged Dominica and the volcanic eruption in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are not isolated incidents but part of a pattern of increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters. These events demonstrate the interconnected nature of climate impacts and the need for a collective response mechanism that transcends borders.

A Comprehensive Approach to Climate Catastrophes

The fund must be comprehensive in its coverage, addressing not only the immediate effects of climate disasters but also the slow-onset events that erode the livelihoods and security of vulnerable populations. It must be equipped to assist nations grappling with the aftermath of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other geophysical events intensified by the changing climate.

The Need for a Swift and Bureaucracy-Free Operation

Drawing inspiration from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), which delivers funding within 14 days of an event, the fund must aim for efficiency and speed. It must cut through red tape and provide a bureaucracy-free channel for the disbursement of funds, ensuring that aid reaches those in need without delay.

Diversifying Financial Sources

The financial underpinnings of the fund must be robust and multifaceted. Contributions from the private sector, philanthropic groups, and the polluters themselves must be harnessed to create a resilient financial pool. This diversification not only spreads the burden but also encourages a collective investment in the future of our planet.


As we approach COP28, the Loss and Damage Fund must evolve from a pledge into a fully operational entity. It must embody the urgency of the climate crisis and the diversity of the global community it serves. The fund should not only provide financial assistance but also symbolise a collective commitment to resilience, equity, and justice.

In saluting the leadership that brought this initiative to life, we must ensure that the fund operates with the vision it was founded upon—that no country, regardless of size or economic power, stands alone in the face of climate adversity. The Loss and Damage Fund must embody global solidarity, a true beacon of hope for vulnerable nations on the frontline of climate change.

Ernie St Valle, a diehard WI cricket fan, is undeterred by their current performances. I am still able to recount Viv Richards and Collis King thundering England to gain the World Cup. 

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