COP27: Summit agrees on climate fund for ‘loss and damage’ in landmark deal

Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt

Egypt Early Sunday morning in Sharm el-Sheikh, representatives from nearly 200 counties meeting at COP27 agreed on a “loss and damage” fund to help countries vulnerable to climate disasters.

It also reaffirmed the goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a key requirement of many countries at the COP27 agreement, which is part of the fund.

But while the agreement represents a breakthrough in a contentious negotiation process, The language about cutting global warming greenhouse gas emissions has not been strengthened.

The final text makes no mention of cutting fossil fuels, including oil and natural gas.

The latest agreement marks the first time countries and groups including the United States and the European Union have agreed to set up a fund for wealthy, industrialized nations to deal with climate disasters worsened by pollution.

The creation of the fund was hailed by negotiators and non-governmental organizations monitoring the talks as a significant achievement after developing and small island nations joined together to increase pressure.

“The agreements reached at COP27 are a victory for all of us around the world,” Molwyn Joseph, president of the Alliance of Small Island States, said in a statement. “We hear you, we see you, we show those who have been ignored, and we give you the respect and care you deserve.”

A senior Biden administration official told CNN that the fund would be focused on what could support loss and damage resources and would not include liability or compensation.

The United States and other developed countries have long sought to avoid such provisions, which could open them up to legal liability and lawsuits. In previous public comments, US climate envoy John Kerry said loss and damage is not the same as climate compensation.

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“‘Compensation’ is not the word or expression used in this case; He said: “We have always said that it is essential for the developing world to help the developing world in dealing with the impacts of climate change.

Details on how the fund will operate remain murky. when the script will be finished and running; Exactly how it will be financed is in question. The text mentions a transition committee that will help hammer out those details, but does not set specific future deadlines.

While climate experts celebrate the victory, they also note the uncertainty.

“This loss and damage fund will be a lifeline for farmers whose homes have been destroyed, farmers whose fields have been destroyed, and poor families who have been forced from their ancestral homes,” said World Resources Institute CEO Ani Dasgupta. “At the same time, developing countries are leaving Egypt without clear assurances on how the loss and damage fund will be overseen.”

Climate experts say the fund’s output this year is huge as the G77 bloc of developing countries remains united and has increased influence over loss and damage in recent years.

“They need to be together to drive the conversation we’re having now,” Nisha Krishnan, director of resilience at the World Resources Institute Africa, told reporters. “The coalition needs to come together to clear this up and drive the conversation because of this belief.”

For many, The funding represents a long-sought victory that has pushed Pakistan to the finish line this summer, with global attention like flooding.

“It’s like a big collapse,” Todd Stern, a former U.S. climate representative, told CNN. “This has been going on for a long time and it’s getting worse in vulnerable countries because we haven’t put in a lot of money. We can see the very real catastrophic effects of climate change becoming more and more severe.”

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As the global average temperature has already risen to 1.1 degrees, global scientists have warned that warming of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels is rapidly approaching 1.1 degrees.

If the temperature exceeds 1.5 degrees, extreme drought; forest fires The risk of floods and food shortages will increase significantly, scientists say in the latest report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

But while summit delegates confirmed the goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, there was no mention of fossil fuels or the need to stop global temperature rises, climate experts said. As was done at last year’s Glasgow summit. While the text calls for an end to coal-fired power generation and a “phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel supplies,” it does not further call for a phase-out of all fossil fuels. including oil and natural gas.

“The influence of the fossil fuel industry was found across the board,” European Climate Foundation chief executive Laurence Tubiana said in a statement. “Egypt’s president has produced a text that categorically defends oil and gas oil nations and fossil fuel industries. This trend cannot continue in the UAE next year.”

It took some dramatic action to keep even the 1.5 degree number hit in Glasgow last year.

EU officials threatened to walk out of the meeting on Saturday if they failed to support a final deal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In a carefully choreographed press conference, the EU’s Green Deal Tsar Frans Timmermans, flanked by a full complement of ministers and top officials from EU member states, said “there is no better deal than a bad deal”.

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“We don’t want 1.5 degrees Celsius to die here and today. We cannot accept that at all,” he said.

Aside from the latest agreement, the summit brought several other significant developments, including the resumption of formal climate talks between the United States and China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

After climate talks between the two countries stalled this summer, U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to restore U.S.-China relations during a meeting with U.S. climate envoy John Kerry at the G20 summit in Bali last week. His Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, will meet again officially.

“Even if the U.S. is heading toward a 1.5-degree program without China, none of us can reach that goal without China,” Kerry told CNN last week.

The two sides met throughout the second week of the COP and tried to pick up where they left off before China suspended the talks, according to a person familiar with the talks. They focused on promoting China’s plan to reduce methane emissions and focus on their overall emissions target, the source said.

Unlike last year, there was no major joint climate announcement from the two countries. But the resumption of official communication is seen as an encouraging sign.

Li Shuo, Beijing-based global policy adviser for Greenpeace East Asia, said that this COP has seen extensive exchanges between the two sides led by Kerry and Xie.

“The challenge is to do more than talk; [and] We also need to take the lead,” Shuo said, adding that resuming official talks “helps prevent the worst outcome.”


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