‘World Waited Far Too Long For This’

As the United Nations (UN) published the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan on Sunday, the revised draft decision that mentions a “loss and damage” fund, India welcomed it as a testament to the persistence and perseverance of climate vulnerable countries and a warning to polluters that can no longer go with their climate destruction without any punishment or paying the price for it.

India called COP27 “historic” as the UN climate summit in Egypt secured an agreement on “loss and damage” fund, news agency PTI reported. India also said that the “world waited far too long for this”. 

Loss and damage refers to the destruction caused by climate change-induced disasters, and was one of the main topics of discussion at COP27. After negotiators debated the updated draft of the climate deal throughout the night, the final draft was approved at the COP27 closing plenary that commenced at around 7:45 am IST. 

China, and the G77, or Group of 77, that includes India, had proposed the idea of a loss and damage fund at COP27. The fund will help vulnerable countries, which had said that they would not leave the climate summit in Egypt without a loss and damage finance facility.

The loss and damage fund can help countries hit by climate-induced disasters in many ways, including providing the money required for relocation of people displaced by floods. 

Poor and developing countries, including India, had been demanding climate finance to deal with loss and damage for a long time. 

The official Twitter handle of COP27 posted that history was made today at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh as parties agreed to the establishment of a long-awaited loss and damage fund for assisting developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Little progress on India’s call for “phasedown” of fossil fuels

However, India’s call for the “phasedown” of fossil fuels reflected little progress when compared to the deal struck in COP26 at Glasgow, Scotland. 

A work programme on climate action in agriculture and food security has been established. Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said the responsibilities to reduce emissions should not be shifted to smallholder farmers.

EU disappointed with UN climate deal draft

The European Union (EU) expressed disappointment with the UN’s climate deal draft, stating the plan had a lack of ambition in reducing emissions, news agency AFP reported.

This is because the EU, which consists of 27 countries, and other developed countries had pushed for stronger commitments to bring down emissions in order to achieve the aspirational goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. 

At the closing session of the UN climate change summit in Egypt, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said the EU came to COP27 to get strong language agreed to, but is disappointed that this was not achieved. 

French President Emmanuel Macron said a fund for “loss and damage” to help developing countries deal with climate catastrophes is “largely insufficient”. He said the idea of a single fund is at best “inappropriate”, at worst largely insufficient.

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