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Loss And Damage Are Beyond The Fund

  Loss And Damage Are Beyond the Fund

                                photo from the 2022 flood in Nigeria.

In Africa, loss and damage from the climate crisis are no longer a threat but a reality, and not making investments in the loss and damage fund is like denying the realities which are visible in our world today; from the loss of the iceberg to the drying up of lakes. The current climate finance commitments that were announced at COP27 which have not yet been reached are less than half a billion dollars yet the current climate finance pledge does not reflect the reality of the climate crises in Nigeria not even including Africa. Unfortunately, we have to march on the street and stage different campaigns before it becomes a reality. Why should it take the 27th Conference of Parties before the loss and damage fund could be recognized into the formal text when climate change is already a known reality; after several years of climate destruction; why do we have to push for so long to make loss and damage fund a reality? Why do we have to persuade leaders, especially those from the global north, to sign in to the loss and damage fund? Could it be because people from the global south are the ones that face the biggest impacts of the climate crisis than those in the global north; this is a complete lack of conscience because loss and damage are now beyond just funds it includes things that cannot be quantified nor restored such as the loss of life, culture, history, natural and cultural heritage among others which we value the more. No amount of funds could restore a lost life or a lost culture, so; if we don’t address the climate crisis, we will continue to lose those unquantifiable things that make us Africa.

We have shied away from the reality of loss and damage funds and now we are cut in between. The climate finance of 105.6 million dollars raised during COP27 Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Wallon Region of Belgium 105.6 for vulnerable countries, is not enough in dealing with the reality of climate change in Nigeria alone not to talk of Africa as a whole. We need not to normalize treating Africa as a country rather than a continent as it is. Perhaps, Africans are not beggars but loss and damage finance is like a morality check on how countries from the Global North are responsible for their actions as the biggest emitter of carbon. Perhaps, these climate finances are a necessity for solving the climate crisis and the right thing to do. No country is safe if one country is left out of meeting its climate targets. In Nigeria, just the flood alone in 2022 accounts for the loss of half a million of farmlands, an estimated 1.5 million people were displaced, 2.5 million people were affected, about 600 lives were lost, and some sustained injuries poverty-induced. Tell us about the dangers of the impacts of a single crisis from climate change yet in Africa, the climate crisis is multidimensional; if it is not a poverty-induced climate crisis, then it is climate-induced food insecurity and it is a different combination we see in our society today. Currently, the climate crisis has outgrown the 100 billion dollar annual commitments from 2009 to 2020 that were not met. Here we are dealing with the impacts of climate change through its loss and damage. It is not enough to sign in for the loss and damage fund, neither is it enough to be included in the formal text, it is time to put the real money there.

According to a report, it estimates that vulnerable economies have lost approximately $525 billion over the two decades due to the climate change-related crisis. It is also estimated that up to 3.6 billion people live in areas of high vulnerability to climate change, according to an IPCC report. This implies that 45% of the world’s population is already at risk of climate change. This is having a toll on critical infrastructures and human security that are seen in the form of loss of livelihood, rise in poverty, food insecurity, and poverty. Hence, the more we don’t tackle the climate crisis from the root cause, the greater the loss and damage to deal with. And one of the ways to do that is by phasing out fossil fuels. If we are not ready to phase out fossil fuel, it is like buying time to prolong the destruction of our planet.

By Oladosu Adenike Titilope (, founder of I Lead Climate Action Initiative, climate justice leader, and ecofeminist.


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