Failure of rich nations on delivering $100bn among issues on COP 27 agenda

Updated on Nov 01, 2022 09:59 AM IST

Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav, who is due to address the conference on November 7, will lead an 18-member Indian delegation at COP 27

Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh will host COP 27 from November 6 and 18. (AFP)
Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh will host COP 27 from November 6 and 18. (AFP)
ByJayashree Nandi

Failure of wealthy countries to keep the $100 billion pledge to help poorer nations deal with the climate crisis and mobilising funds for mitigation to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees C are expected to be the key issues at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh from November 6 and 18.

Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav, who is due to address the conference on November 7, will lead an 18-member Indian delegation at COP 27 even though there is no confirmation yet whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend it.

Officials said India’s focus will be on a multilaterally agreed definition of finance, a new collective goal on finance beyond 2025, an assessment of commitment to providing $100 billion annually for climate finance by 2020, and matters related to transparency of financial flows.

Egypt will also host a World Leaders Summit on November 7 and 8. It is expected to be among the largest gatherings of climate stakeholders ever at a COP. Over 30,000 delegates have registered for COP 27.

Around 90 heads of state and nation are expected to speak at the summit. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has domestic commitments, may attend the summit if sufficient progress is made on preparations for the autumn budget, BBC reported on Monday. US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart are among those due to attend the event.

Speakers at a Climate Action Network (CAN) press briefing on Monday cited floods in Pakistan and Nigeria, prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa, and extreme weather events in the US and said a finance facility for compensating loss and damage will be critical on the COP 27 discussion agenda.

Around 140 American environmental organisations wrote to special climate change envoy John Kerry on October 24 and called for an agreement to establish a fund for loss and damage reparations at COP 27.

“The responsibility and obligation of richer nations like the United States are clear, as they have caused the majority of the heat-trapping emissions to date that are driving these climate extremes,” said the letter shared at the press briefing of CAN, a global network of over 1,300 environmental non-governmental organisations.

It added the US in particular is responsible for nearly a quarter of cumulative carbon dioxide emissions since the Industrial Revolution began, by far the largest share of any individual nation. “Yet the US’s negotiating posture on Loss and Damage has been recalcitrant, creating a major obstacle to meeting the urgent needs of climate-vulnerable countries and causing great harm to our nation’s reputation on the world stage, including most recently at COP 26 in Glasgow last November and at the climate conference in Bonn this June.”

Canadian environment and climate change minister Steven Guilbeault and German special envoy for climate Jennifer Morgan on October 28 released a climate finance delivery plan progress report saying developed countries have still not been able to mobilise the money.

The report said the industrialised countries in 2009 pledged to provide $100 billion each year from 2020 onwards collectively. “Unfortunately, there is still a gulf between ambition and reality: in 2020, collective climate finance amounted to 83.3 billion US dollars,” it said.

The report added it is abundantly clear that the global investments needed to respond to the climate change threat are much larger than $100 billion. “...we need to focus on setting an effective, and fit for purpose, post-2025 climate finance goal. We also need to focus on the broader collective goal of making finance flows consistent with low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.”

A German and Canadian climate finance delivery plan released last year ahead of COP 26 said developed countries will likely be able to mobilise $100 billion a year only in 2023, a delay of three years.

CAN (Europe) policy coordinator Rachel Simons cited the progress reports including that of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and said they showed tardy progress on delivery of the $100 billion. “...finance will be again on agenda along with deciding on a post-2025 climate finance goal.”

World Wide Fund For Nature International’s climate and energy policy head Fernanda Carvalho said there is no credible pathway to achieving the 1.5 degrees C goal which seems at stake this time. “The focus will be on a mitigation work programme that will possibly help keep the 1.5 degrees C goal alive.”

Union of Concerned Scientists climate and energy programme policy director Rachel Cleetus said the climate crisis is taking lives, and livelihoods, destroying critical ecosystems and threatening millions of people with food and water shortage. “… the deadly, devastating floods in Pakistan, Nigeria, prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa…there have been over 15 extreme climate events in the US this year exceeding loss of $1 billion each. The recent UN reports are showing we may not meet 1.5 degrees C goal. Losses and damage are increasing so are adaptation needs.”

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