3rd draft Glasgow cover decision continues to be weak on finance, loss and adaptation

One of the main asks for India has been a multilaterally agreed definition of climate finance, delivery of the promised USD 100 billion by developed countries (in 2009) and for a structured process that will deliver the new quantified climate finance goal for climate finance well before 2025.
People protest outside the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) venue in Glasgow, Scotland in the United Kingdom earlier this week. (REUTERS PHOTO.)
People protest outside the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) venue in Glasgow, Scotland in the United Kingdom earlier this week. (REUTERS PHOTO.)
Published on Nov 13, 2021 04:31 PM IST
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ByJayashree Nandi

After night long negotiations on several elements of the Glasgow cover decision, the COP 26 Presidency released another draft text on Saturday morning. Though the third draft text reaffirms the Paris Agreement goal, it has struck a compromise on several fronts and is rather weak on climate finance, adaptation and loss and damage.

Climate negotiation experts are disappointed that after a big build up to COP 26 and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) spelling out the urgency of climate crisis, the negotiations failed to capture certain important elements which are critical for implementation of climate change mitigation in developing countries. Following an informal plenary by COP 26 President, Alok Sharma later today, the draft is likely to be considered for adoption. Developing and vulnerable countries are expected to express their views at the plenary.

For the first time, the draft cover decision has mentioned the need for phase out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies. But, after several developing countries dissented, the language has been cushioned to say we need to transition towards low emission energy systems, including by rapidly scaling up the deployment of clean power generation and energy efficiency measures “including accelerating efforts towards the phase-out of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, recognizing the need for support towards a just transition.”

Developing countries like India and the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC—a group of 22 countries) had also sought the mention of historical responsibility in the global average temperature rise of 1.1 degree C till now. The text does not mention that but states: “also noting the importance for some of the concept of ‘climate justice’, when taking action to address climate change.”

Climate Finance:

One of the main asks for India has been a multilaterally agreed definition of climate finance, delivery of the promised USD 100 billion by developed countries (in 2009) and for a structured process that will deliver the new quantified climate finance goal for climate finance well before 2025. The agreement expresses “deep regret” that the goal of developed country parties to mobilize jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020 in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation has not yet been met.” The draft agreement urges developed countries to fully deliver on the USD 100 billion goal urgently and through to 2025 and emphasizes the importance of transparency in the implementation of their pledges. It only re-emphasizes the need for scaled-up financial resources to consider the needs of countries particularly vulnerable to climate change and welcomes the initiation of deliberations on a new collective quantified goal on climate finance.

“There is nothing much. There is no real commitment on part of developed countries to move ahead with serious and urgent domestic action let alone in terms of global collaboration and truly significant climate finance for tackling climate change,” said Manjeev Singh Puri, former negotiator and ambassador responding to the draft.

Loss and Damage:

The new draft instead of specifying how finance and compensation will be delivered for Loss and Damage (compensation for impacts of extreme climate change events and slow onset events like sea level rise) talks of setting up “dialogue between parties, relevant organizations, and stakeholders” to discuss the arrangements for the funding of activities to avert, minimise and address loss and damage. Delegates, activists from developing and vulnerable countries were fuming after reading the text.

The G77+China had proposed for a Glasgow Facility on loss and damage. The draft only urges developed countries, the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, United Nations entities and intergovernmental organizations and other bilateral and multilateral institutions, including non-governmental organizations and private sources, to provide enhanced and additional support for activities addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change.

“Draft political #COP26 decisions circulated grossly fail any credibility tests:phase out of fossil fuels references are now so weakened down that it is mind-blowing on #LossAndDamage: outcome proposed here is basically more blablabla these drafts CANNOT be accepted,” tweeted Sébastien Duyck, senior attorney working towards climate justice.

India had also sought serious decisions at COP26 on compensating loss and damage.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022