African Cleric Lauds Creation of Loss and Damage Fund at COP-27 as “important first step”

Credit: COP27

An African Catholic Priest heading a Jesuit entity has lauded the resolution by the United Nations 27th Conference of Parties Climate Conference (COP27) in Egypt to establish a loss and damage fund as an “important first step” in attaining climate justice

The fund, agreed upon during the November 6-20 COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, will see developed countries across the globe contribute to a global kitty intended to support developing countries that are facing the devastating impacts of climate change. 

In a statement shared with ACI Africa, the Director of the Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network – Africa (JENA), a department of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM), says, “The establishment of a loss and damage fund is an important first step,” 

In the November 22 statement, Fr. Charles Chilufya says the institution of the fund 30 years after it was first floated “sounds like the rich nations faced the persistence of the widow in Luke 18:1-8 in the Christian Bible who was granted justice ‘so that she won’t eventually come and attack me’!”

In 1991, Vanuatu, an island country in the South Pacific Ocean (UN), suggested that rich nations, which had contributed the most to pollution, help countries that have been most affected by climate change. 


According to Fr. Chilufya, “true relief” will truly come when developed nations finally set up and contribute to the fund. 

“It remains cardinal for all nations to ensure that the fund is operational and is funded in a responsible, just and equitable way,” the Director of JENA says.

He adds, that failure to actualize the fund “will be another empty promise made at the expense of millions all over the world suffering from the consequences of climate change that they cannot adapt to or manage with resilience.”

In view of realizing the resolution, there is need to ask where the money for the kitty is to come from, the Zambian-born Jesuit Priest says.

He adds, “We invoke the ‘polluter pays’ principle, which is the commonly accepted practice that those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to human health or the environment.”

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“In this regard, the new fund must be paid for by taxing the big polluters that have caused the climate crisis in the first place,” the Priest based in Nairobi, Kenya, further says. 

He says that wealthy nations “must make a commitment of new and additional compensation finance, not aid money, to the new fund, in proportion with their historic carbon emissions, and to tax big polluters.”

“It is time for rich nations to make sure their governments contribute to the fund. Since the majority of rich nations are democratic nations, their citizens must also show perseverance and unity for justice and love to demand that their governments do what is just, right and noble,” Fr. Chilufya says.

While the establishment of the fund is important, he says, “we still need deeper and real solutions to the climate problem that are transformative and regenerative and able to protect the planet, biodiversity and all creation.”

“We need real actions on reducing global emissions, and real protection of human rights for us to have climate justice,” the Jesuit Priest says in his November 22 statement.


The planet also needs to reform businesses and the economy, he adds, and explains that the reforms are necessary because the United Nations Conferences on Climate Change (UNFCCC) continues to be held hostage by big businesses, which are responsible for the pollution through the rich countries where they are based. 

“The UNFCCC usually fails to deliver justice and real climate action for the poor people who need it,” the Director of JENA laments.

He emphasizes the need for reform, saying, “Countries which continue to close several fossil fuel energy deals, especially the developed ones, must give up their hypocrisy on limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

If not, Fr. Chilufya warns, “the world will be locked into a short-lived fossil fuel dependent future.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.