Climate emergency.  Will rich polluting countries pay compensation?  |:  Climate crisis news

Climate emergency. Will rich polluting countries pay compensation? |: Climate crisis news

Climate emergency. Will rich polluting countries pay compensation? |: Climate crisis news

After decades of slow progress on climate action, with political leaders stalling on finance or debating whether climate change is even real, this year’s extreme weather is a stark reminder that the world has reached some breakpoints climatologists warned us about it.

More than 1,700 people have died in floods in Pakistan 4000 victims Drought and flooding on the African continent are just some of the dire events that will shape the conversation around climate finance, and climate offsets in particular, at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

If countries had worked harder to mitigate their carbon emissions and improve their adaptation strategies, some of those casualties could have been avoided, said Saliemul Huq, director of the Bangladesh-based International Center for Climate Change and Development.

“But, unfortunately, we haven’t done enough,” he says. “When people lose their lives, their livelihoods and their homes, then adaptation is no longer possible.”

According to research Oxfam NGOThe need for financial assistance after weather disasters has increased eightfold compared to 20 years ago, and the funding gap is widening.

Oxfam has estimated a gap of up to $33 billion over the past five years, a small “loss and damage“After recent disasters such as the 2021 floods in Europe that caused $45 billion in damage or the 2017 Hurricane Maria that destroyed 226 percent of Dominica’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Climate emergency.  Will rich polluting countries pay compensation?  |:  Climate crisis news
A man walks through the floodwaters in Jafarabad, Pakistan’s flood-hit Balochistan province, carrying some items. [File: Zahid Hussain/AP]

Researchers in Spain have evaluated that by 2040 the cost of losses and damages for developing countries alone could reach $1 trillion. Who pays the bill is a question that the rich economies responsible for most of the past emissions and current global warming have resolutely avoided for years.

But things can change At the COP27 summit November 6-18.

Representatives of 30 negotiating groups within the UN climate change framework took place in September focused meeting loss and damage diplomatic term used to refer to irreversible environmental damage caused by extreme climate impacts.

Delegates managed to include loss and damage funding on the provisional agenda for this year’s COP to discuss aspects such as timing, scope and allocation of finance, as well as potential sources of support and eligibility criteria.

Countries are “awkward”.

Last year’s climate talks in the United Kingdom failed to provide financial means for loss and damage, something. A group of 134 developing countries (known as the G77) plus China now intends to fight under the leadership of Pakistan.

The question of financing climate compensation was not even raised The COP26 agenda, explains Harjeet Singh, head of global policy strategy at the international NGO Climate Action Network (CAN). Historically, loss and damage have been considered as a form of adaptation, although the Paris Agreement addresses it as a separate issue.

“The countries felt so uncomfortable [the idea of monetary compensation] that even just putting [loss and damage] on the website was not acceptable to them and they used the excuse that the Paris Agreement is not yet in place to avoid the conversation,” says Singh.

FILE PHOTO:  A COP27 sign is seen on the way to the conference grounds in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh as the city prepares to host the COP27 summit next month, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Oct. 20, 2022.  .
A COP27 sign on the road to the conference grounds in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt [File: Sayed Sheasha/Reuters]

After the rulebook guiding the implementation of the Paris Agreement was signed last year, Singh says the argument no longer holds, and loss and damage financing is expected to appear on the COP’s final agenda for the first time. .

Although this is a historic step, “even the most optimistic person would not believe that we will establish a financial institution and all its procedures will be decided,” said Nisha Krishnan, a climate sustainability expert at the non-profit Global Resources Institute for Africa.

If the financial structure is approved this year, “the parties will have to negotiate its draft, especially from the developing countries,” he says.

“I think an inclusive process is important, because otherwise there would be no legitimacy for this structure.”

At the earliest, this work will begin with the next round of climate negotiations, kicking off a years-long process before any financial aid reaches affected communities.

While climate diplomacy can only make slow progress in building consensus and building strong political frameworks, the frequency and severity of climate disasters is only accelerating.

“Thematic discussions are necessary”.

That’s why negotiators and civil society groups at COP27 will be lobbying not only to see more money on the table, but also to open up new channels for capital to circulate faster and have impact.

It Working Group on Access to Climate Finance is one such example, launched in March 2021 to help simplify and accelerate access to finance for developing countries.

Bangladesh, Fiji, Jamaica, Rwanda and Uganda have voluntarily participated in the pilot phase of the project, the results of which are to be evaluated this year. Krishnan also notes Santiago network for loss and damage, which was created in 2019 to help countries get technical assistance to combat climate ravages.

“[The Santiago Network] it has yet to be launched, it does not yet have a management structure,” he explains.

When it comes to formal negotiations, apart from the main objective of establishing a facility to finance losses and damages, Krishnan says: Glasgow Dialogue”, a forum founded last year to discuss the irreversible degradation of the environment, currently with a broad, detailed mandate.

“The worry right now is that the Glasgow dialogue will remain just that, a dialogue with no results in sight,” says Krishnan.

“Is there any outcome that could be mandated? Can there be more substantive discussions instead of meeting once a year? These are some of the things we would like to see coming out of COP27.”

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