COP27: Countries adopt “loss and damage” deal

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Countries at the COP27 climate summit have adopted a deal to set up a “loss and damage” fund to help developing countries bear the immediate costs of climate-fuelled events such as storms and floods.

After tense negotiations that ran through the night, the Egyptian COP27 presidency released the final text for a deal and simultaneously called a plenary session to quickly gavel it through.

COP27 president Sameh Shoukry brought the gavel down to signify the document representing the political agreement at the conference had been approved by consensus.

The session first swiftly approved the text’s provision to set up a “loss and damage” fund but it moved many of the most controversial decisions on the fund into next year, when a “transitional committee” would make recommendations for countries to then adopt at the COP28 climate summit in November 2023.

Those recommendations would cover “identifying and expanding sources of funding” – referring to the vexed question of which countries should pay into the new fund.

Calls by developing countries for such a fund have dominated the two-week summit, pushing the talks past their scheduled Friday finish.

The two-week summit has been seen as a test of global resolve to fight climate change – even as a war in Europe, energy market turmoil and rampant consumer inflation distract international attention.

Billed as the “African COP,” the summit in Egypt had promised to highlight the plight of poor countries facing the most severe consequences from global warming caused mainly by wealthy, industrialized nations.

Also Read: COP27 demonstrators demand compensation for climate action 

Negotiators from the European Union and other countries had said earlier that they were worried about efforts to block measures to strengthen last year’s Glasgow Climate Pact.

“While progress on loss and damage was encouraging, it is disappointing that the decision mostly copy and pasted language from Glasgow about curbing emissions, rather than taking any significant new steps,” said Ani Dasgupta, president of the non-profit World Resources Institute.

In line with earlier iterations, the approved deal did not contain a reference requested by India and some other delegations to phase down the use of “all fossil fuels”.

It instead called on countries to take steps toward “the phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies,” as agreed at the COP26 Glasgow summit.

The draft also includes a reference to “low-emissions energy“, raising concern among some that it opened the door to the growing use of natural gas – a fossil fuel that leads to both carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

 

Zainab Sa’id

Source Reuters

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