COP27: Climate action meet begins with loss and damage finance on agenda


Photo Credit Twitter COP27

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By S Jha

New Delhi, November 6: The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres set the tone for the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt that the last eight years had been the warmest, and the global temperature is now up by 1.15 degree Celsius. Glaciers are melting not just in Antarctica and Arctic Circle but even in the lower reaches of the Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir and Nepal, while sea is subsuming landmass at a much greater scale.

The State of the Global Climate Report 2022 has revealed a gloomy picture, which explains reasons for rivers drying up in China and Latin America, and Pakistan ravaged by first heat wave and then super floods. The Covid-19 pandemic alibi is too weak to rationalize the world abandoning on the commitment to reduce carbon emission, as the mood at Sharm el-Sheikh showed that the cost is too heavy for the humanity to bear.

Foreign Minister of Egypt Sameh Shoukry, who is the President of COP27 and was handed over the baton by his UK counterpart on Sunday, spelt out the urgency for the global leaders to seize the moment, as he urged upon the need “to recognize the magnitude of the challenges”. He also argued that the alibi of the Russia-Ukraine War shouldn’t come in the way of the climate action to mitigate the disaster that the humanity is heading to by not acting urgently on the common agenda.

The losses on account of the climate change need to be financed, stated Shoukry, as he argued for the inclusion of ‘Loss and damage’ agenda at the Sharm el-Sheikh brainstorming. The loss and damage agenda has officially been included at the COP27, while there is also a stress on $100 billion funding of the climate action. The Glasgow commitment to phase out coal has already been abandoned in the post-pandemic and post-Ukrainian war era, with the countries showing frenzy to consume the fossil fuel to power the factories and the homes with electricity.

“If adaptation is not met, if the issue of finance is not fulfilled, then we will continue to lag behind. There is no room except to move forward to obtain our objectives,” said Shoukry at a presser in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday. While the developing and the least developed countries are pressing for the financing of the climate action along with technology transfer, the developed world had been mostly developing cold feet on the issue of financing the climate action agenda. Also, the US administration has been seen vulnerable to the corporate lobbies in the country who are opposed to Washington committing to cut down on emissions. Equally significant challenge for COP27 is the state of recession in the developed world, with the US, the UK, Germany and France battling the worst specter of inflation-induced slowdown in their economies.

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