As the earth moves toward the climate hell, the COP27 in Egypt ended on a hopeful note with the agreement on the ‘loss and damage fund’. Countries agreeing to set up a new funding window for loss and damage marks an important milestone in the negotiations, as the issue has been added to the official agenda and adopted for the first time at COP27.
This fund is expected to support countries most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.
“The countries likely to be most supported include SIDS (Small Island developing states), a group of low-lying coastal and small island countries who are among the nations least responsible for climate change (having contributed less than 1% to the world's GHGs and who first began calling for the establishment of a loss and damage fund). It would also support Least developed countries (LDCs) like Bangladesh and Nepal and developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change such as Pakistan. The fund is likely to draw on contributions from developed countries to get it started with a scope for identifying and expanding diverse sources of funding including the private sector and philanthropies,” said Ajita Tiwari Padhi, who manages the Land Use program at India Climate Collaborative (ICC).
India has been quite vocal in terms of larger contributions from developed countries towards energy transition, adaptation to climate change, and ensuring there is no further rise in global temperatures. “At Glasgow last year, India had demanded a ten-fold increase in the annual climate finance to the tune of $ 1 trillion. India, along with other participants, reiterated that long-term, concessional, and climate-specific allocation between adaptation and mitigation is required as part of such commitment,” said Inderjeet Singh, Partner, Deloitte India.
However, the EU, the US had emphasised during the COP27 negotiations that nations that are both high GHG emitters but are still considered developing (such as India and China) should also pay into the fund, including newly wealthy countries Saudi Arabia, Singapore and South Korea.
There are murmurs about countries like India not benefiting from the proposed loss and damage fund, considering that it's the third highest GHG emitter. "This would be ironical considering India’s high vulnerability to the impacts of climate change- India ranks 7th in the Global Climate risk index 2021 by Germanwatch and an ICC - CEEW research 27 of 35 states and UTs are highly vulnerable to extreme hydro-met disasters and their compounded impacts,” added Padhi.
Echoing the sentiment, Singh said, “India needs continued investments across its environmentally sensitive regions which can come from domestic resources, international credits, and global commitments such as the climate fund agreed upon in 2009, ensuring an annual flow of $ 100 billion between 2020 until 2025.”
However, the details regarding the operationalisation of the new loss and damage fund will be worked out by the ‘transitional committee’ set up to undertake this task.
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