Caribbean countries to seek 'loss and damage' as top priority at COP27, document says

By Jasper Ward

NASSAU (Reuters) -Caribbean nations will unite to seek "loss and damage" compensation for the impact of climate change at the upcoming COP27 climate talks in Egypt, according to a report summarizing conclusions of a recent regional summit.

Small island nations, which are among the most affected by rising temperatures, are pushing developed countries to create a "loss and damage" funding facility to pay for consequences of climate change that go beyond what people can adapt to.

"The Caribbean (should) push, as its top priority, agreements on the establishment of a loss and damage facility/loss and damage response fund at COP27, and a commitment to further operationalize a facility/fund in 2023," reads the report dated Sept. 8.

The document emerged from the Caribbean Regional Heads of Government meeting held in the Bahamas in August that was attended by countries including Barbados, Haiti, and Antigua and Barbuda.

Caribbean leaders also highlighted the importance of tourism to regional economies and "the increasingly devastating impact climate change has on that industry."

About 90 heads of state have confirmed attendance at November's COP27 climate negotiations in Egypt, where they will address issues including energy transition and food security at opening sessions, an Egyptian official said on Monday.

Meanwhile at a summit of the Organization of American States in Peru on Thursday, Caribbean representatives called for action on climate disasters, compounded by mounting inflation and debt accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barbados Ambassador Noel Lynch said tighter monetary policies in developed countries and the strengthening U.S. dollar were compounding existing economic and climate crises.

If these are not addressed, he warned that existing hardships would worsen.

"There will be debt defaults, widening inequality, political upheaval and delayed transition to the low-carbon world that is necessary for continued human existence," Lynch said.

(Reporting by Jasper Ward and Brian Ellsworth; additional reporting by Sarah Morland; editing by Toby Chopra and Jonathan Oatis)