Last week, Denmark made a historic move for climate justice by pledging 100 million Danish crowns ($12.9 million) to developing nations damaged by the climate crisis. This makes it the first United Nations member state to offer “loss and damage” compensation.
Denmark joins Scotland and the Belgian region of Wallonia in pledging money for loss and damage—but the latter two are not members of the UN.
Flemming Møller Mortensen, Denmark’s development minister, announced the funds after visiting Bangladesh this spring.
“I saw for myself in Bangladesh this spring that the consequences of climate change need increased focus,” Mortensen said when he announced the funds. “It’s grossly unfair that the world’s poorest should suffer the most from the consequences of climate change to which they have contributed the least.
In his view, it is action, not words, that is needed.
Where exactly will the loss and damage funding go?
According to a statement released by the Danish foreign ministry, 35 million Danish crowns ($4.5 million) would go to a Frankfurt, Germany-based organization that subsidizes insurance in poorer nations.
Another 32.5 million Danish crowns ($4.2 million) will be funneled into the ministry’s “strategic partnerships with civil society, which work with climate-related loss and damage,” with particular attention paid to North Africa’s Sahel region.
Yet another 25 million Danish crows ($3.2 million) will be spent on “strategic efforts” to further climate change negotiations before COP27, which is set to take place in November.
The final 7.5 million crowns will go to civil society actors in underdeveloped nations to strengthen climate change resilience.
A “fundamental question of climate justice”
Denmark’s financial commitment was made at a ministerial gathering in New York in conjunction with the UN General Assembly.
During his address to the assembly, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged member states to tax fossil fuel firms’ windfall earnings and divert the money to nations experiencing loss and damage.
“Loss and damage are happening now, hurting people and economies now, and must be addressed now – starting at COP 27,” he declared.
“This is a fundamental question of climate justice, international solidarity, and trust.”
Hopefully, Denmark’s commitment to addressing the climate injustices experienced by nations that have been taken advantage of by developed countries in a concrete way will inspire others to follow suit.