COP27 Summit: What started with the shocking reminder that humanity is on a “highway to climate hell”, the 27th Conference of Parties (COP 27) ended on a positive note with a much-delayed and long-awaited promise of $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries was approved. The fund is for assisting developing countries that have contributed very little to the climate crisis and yet are vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
For years, and even at COP 27, developing countries made strong and repeated appeals for the establishment of a loss and damage fund. India, being one of the developing nations, has been focusing on climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building.
COP is the annual UN Summit on the environment and climate change, where all the world leaders come together to discuss and work towards climate change.
The 27th edition of the conference was scheduled at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, between 6-18 November 2022. However, the intense negotiations stretched till the early morning of November 20, when countries at the UN Climate Change Conference reached an agreement on an outcome that established a funding mechanism to compensate the vulnerable for ‘loss and damage’ from climate-induced disasters.
After the November 18 deadline was missed, negotiators were finally able to reach conclusions on various agendas, including a loss and damage facility – with a commitment to set up a financial support structure for the most vulnerable by the next COP in 2023 – as well as the post-2025 finance goal.
In a video message, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “This COP has taken an important step towards justice. I welcome the decision to establish a loss and damage fund and to operationalize it in the coming period. Clearly, this will not be enough, but it is a much-needed political signal to rebuild broken trust.”
What’s the loss and damage fund?
Human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme events, has caused some irreversible impacts as natural and human systems are pushed beyond their ability to adapt. The loss and damage arising from the adverse effects of climate change include related to extreme weather events but also slow onset events, such as sea level rise, increasing temperatures, ocean acidification, glacial retreat and related impacts, salinization, land and forest degradation, loss of biodiversity and desertification.
At COP 19, the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage was established. Since then, it has been serving as the main catalyser under the UNFCCC process for enhancing knowledge, coherence, action, and support to avert, minimize and address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
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