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UN climate negotiation: Africa wants work on loss and damage expedited

African countries at the UN Climate negotiation in Warsaw, Poland, want developed countries to support and expedite work in reducing and compensating for loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including its impacts on agriculture.

As the two-week climate negotiation is joined by ministers in the final week, African negotiators here are also calling for a well-structured standing body, with technical and financial facility, clear functions, relevant national points and a trust fund to address loss and damage.

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), which disclosed this in a statement, described the mood among African delegates in Warsaw as “one of confidence and determination to defend the continent’s interest at all costs”.

“Calls for the provision of adequate means of implementation, including finance, technology transfer and capacity-building, to enable Africa to address its adaptation needs in particular, has been one of the staples on Africa’s menu at virtually every COP (Conference of Parties) for the last decade,” ECA said ahead of the high level-segment of ministers meeting.

Fatima Denton, Coordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre of the ECA however said there is the need to reflect the current momentum for a new narrative of the climate change discourse among Africans scientists and policy makers.

This new narrative, she explains, “is one that, while accepting the reality of climate change, shifts emphasis from bemoaning over its disproportionate impacts on Africa to what African scientists and policy makers can, and are doing to adapt or mitigate those impacts”.

Expectations are that the conference in Warsaw would establish institutional arrangements and agree on possible activities under the work programme on loss and damage.

“The question Parties are now addressing is how do we integrate adaptation into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and action,” according to the Adaptation Committee.

Observers from the civil society at the conference say progress in Warsaw on finance as well as loss and damage is essential to lay the foundation for an ambitious and effective 2015 agreement in Paris.

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