Climate Insurance for a dead man: UN Climate Change Conference

(Originally published on the UN Climate Change Conference Blog. Read the original post here)

The adverse impacts of climate change are already threatening communities around the world. Over the last century the level of carbon dioxide has increased by 25 per cent. Developed countries are mainly liable for the climate crisis. And this problem is devastating environment and biodiversity, damaging people’s life and livelihoods around the globe. Climate change victims are increasing in number every day. It is alarming that there is no obligation for states to recognize the international and external displacement of people due to climate change and other environmental issues.

A study shows that 95 per cent of deaths from natural disasters in the last 25 years occurred in developing countries. And $100 billion has been lost every year due to these natural disasters. The communities of the developing countries are trying to cope with disasters. And the governments of developing countries are generating money for adaptation and mitigation programmes within their countries.

 

In the UNFCCC there is a vital discussion going on about adaptation and protection of vulnerable countries and people. The contact group on enhanced action on adaptation and associated means of implementation meeting was held yesterday. They were pushing the agenda of an insurance mechanism. The proposed insurance mechanism work to facilitate vulnerability reduction and adaptation. It means affected communities who die because of climate change will get insurance money! This insurance mechanism for vulnerable people is crazy – when people die, they lose their life. What will he/she do with the money!

First we need to think about reducing the risk of climate change – cutting emissions.

The other question is ‘who is going to pay for insurance’? There are many good proposals coming out from the discussion of the contact group. Most of the delegates emphasized an international disaster and management plan which would be integrated with national plans. The most vulnerable country in South Asia, Bangladesh, has had for ten years an Action Plan on Risk Reduction Management. Resource sharing, capacity building and food security reduce the disaster risk in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh asked for help establishing an early warning system about climate information so that they can reduce the risk of disaster in the community.
The meeting also discussed the need to address specific sectors. To manage disaster risk a rehabilitation center for developing countries needs to be established to help vulnerable people rather than insurance.

There is a need for North-South and South-South cooperation. South Africa emphasized the integrity and long term approach for risk management. Whereas Colombia urged for community based adaptation for risk management. Australia said national and domestic action as well international action was needed for adaption.

As the frequency and scope of major natural catastrophe losses continue to increase, there is a growing need to reduce the disaster risks associated with climate change. The market is pushing for insurance – but there are alternative ways developed countries can play their part in enabling disaster-prone countries to successfully manage the new climate risks.

The writer can be reached at farjana@voicebd.org

http://poznanclimate.blogspot.com/2008/12/climate-insurance-for-dead-man.html

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