From massive wildfires in Canada and devastating floods in Pakistan, to persistent drought in the Horn of Africa and intense heat in Asia and Europe, the climate crisis is already taking a deadly and costly toll. Unfortunately, the countries and communities that have done the very least to contribute to global temperature rise are the ones facing the most serious impacts on their rights, lives, and livelihoods.
As the impacts of the climate crisis accelerate, States and businesses have human rights obligations to provide reparation and remedy to the communities most affected. Led by small island States, COP27 made historic progress by establishing the Loss and Damage Fund. This fund is designed to provide financial assistance to nations most vulnerable to and impacted by the effects of the climate crisis.
Now, countries are discussing how the fund will operate. Drawing on decades-long efforts to push financial institutions to deliver meaningful remedy for harms to which they contribute, CIEL is working to integrate environmental democracy into this new fund. This entails ensuring that the fund respects, promotes, and protects human rights and embeds the principles of environmental democracy (including access to information, participation, and remedy) within its governance structure. Doing so will ensure civil society, Indigenous Peoples, fenceline and frontline communities, and marginalized groups (such as women, persons living with disabilities, and youth) can actively participate at every stage of the negotiation, design, and implementation of the Loss and Damage Fund.