Loss and Damage Deal Struck, but COP27 Disappoints

Plans for a new fund to compensate vulnerable countries for loss and damage caused by climate change were confirmed at COP27 in the early hours of Sunday morning. The loss and damage fund was largely welcomed, but the final conference’s final cover text – known as the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan – was criticised by the EU and UK among others for insufficient ambition on climate mitigation actions needed to keep global warming below 1.5°C.  Agreement on loss and damage was a surprise as it was only added to the agenda weeks before COP27 started. The deal will establish new funding arrangements and a transitional committee to make recommendations at COP28, which will meet before the end of March 2023. The implementation plan confirmed parties’ commitment to the 1.5°C target, but contained no new language on the phasing out of fossil fuels, calling instead for an acceleration of the “transition towards low-emission energy systems”. The delays on agreeing COP27’s final text are thought to stem largely from oil-producing nations seeking to further tone down its wording on phasing out fossil fuels. “In this text we have been given reassurances that there is no room for backsliding,” said Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary. “It gives the key political signals that indicate the phasedown of all fossil fuels is happening.” The package of decisions confirmed at the end of COP27 also included steps toward a Global Goal on Adaptation, pledges worth US$230 million to the Adaptation Fund, and the launch of the Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, focused in improving resilience in the most climate-vulnerable communities by 2030.

 

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