WHILE the UN climate summit in Egypt concluded with a landmark decision to establish a fund to address loss and damage, the outcome on other crucial issues such as India’s call for phasedown of all fossil fuels reflected little progress when compared to the deal struck a year ago in Scotland.
India termed COP27 “historic” for securing an agreement on establishing a fund to address loss and damage due to climate change-induced disasters, saying “the world has waited far too long for this”.
On the establishment of a work programme on climate action in agriculture and food security, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said the responsibilities to reduce emissions should not be shifted to smallholder farmers.
The summit was scheduled to conclude on Friday but went into overtime as negotiators pushed for an agreement on issues such as including mitigation, loss and damage (L&D) fund and adaptation.
Loss and damage refers to destruction caused by climate change-induced disasters.
At one point in time, the talks veered close to a collapse but gained momentum in the final hours after progress on a new finance facility to address loss and damage, a long-pending demand of poor and developing countries, including India, and the key element at this year’s UN climate summit. The success of the talks hinged on progress on this track.
Developed nations, particularly the US, had opposed this new fund over fears that it would hold them legally liable for massive damages caused by climate change.
The proposal for a loss and damage finance facility was put forward by the G77 and China (India is part of this group), least developed countries and small island states. Vulnerable countries had said that they would not leave COP27 without it.