Warsaw Climate Change Talks

A new mechanism to help victims of typhoons, floods, drought and other effects of climate change was set up at the United Nations climate conference in Warsaw, after intense wrangling among countries.  The landmark decision will open the road to international coordination of efforts to assist countries affected by weather events. The devastation to the Philippines just as the conference started helped spur the delegates as they worked to create the new mechanism to provide countries with technical support, mobilize funds, and improve coordination of work inside the UN Climate Convention and other organizations. The UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) presently mobilizes funds for mitigation (reduction of emissions) and adaptation (preparing for the effects of climate change such as building sea-walls and drainage systems) but until now it did not have a clear mandate for helping countries recover from loss and damage.

This decision lifted the general gloom that had characterized most of the two-week negotiations at the annual UN climate convention. The gloom was caused mainly by the lack of progress on the main issues of finance –so far funds have been very slow to come in, and there is no clear plan on how to meet the 2020 deadline.