Loss and Damage Agreement Reached #COP27

The two weeks of COP27 closed with an agreement finally being reached on Loss and Damage.

See a previous article here: Loss and Damage #ClimateChange #COP27 & Peaceful Protest

Creating a specific fund for loss and damage marked an important point of progress. The issue had been added to the official agenda and adopted for the first time at COP27.

Governments took the ground-breaking decision to establish new funding arrangements, as well as a dedicated fund, to assist developing countries in responding to loss and damage. Governments also agreed to establish a ‘transitional committee’ to make recommendations on how to operationalize both the new funding arrangements and the fund at COP28 next year. The first meeting of the transitional committee is expected to take place before the end of March 2023, UNFCCC

World Meteorological Organisation

Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary said:

“We have determined a way forward on a decades-long conversation on funding for loss and damage – deliberating over how we address the impacts on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the very worst impacts of climate change.”

The action has been welcomed by  Friends of the Earth Scotland. Head of campaigns Mary Church said:

“Securing a Loss and Damage fund is a huge victory for global South countries who stood strong and united in the face of dirty tricks by the rich historical polluters who are resisting taking responsibility for the crisis they caused. Whether these global North ountries will actually stump up the money needed to resource the fund is another question, given their abject failure to deliver on other longstanding finance commitments.

“Civil society played a vital role in their advocacy and solidarity with global South countries on this all important issue, leaving the US, EU and UK with no cover for their diversionary tactics. People power matters, we can and must keep fighting for the better world we know is possible, because world leaders aren’t going to make it without us.”

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland said that the establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund was ‘truly groundbreaking’.

She added:

“The agreement to establish a fund for loss and damage is truly groundbreaking and is a testament to 30 years of hard campaigning by the global south and civil society.  I am pleased that Scotland, in being the first developed country ever to make a financial contribution, has been able to play a small part in that journey working with others over the last twelve months to build the momentum that has led to today’s decision.

“There remains a lot of detail to be worked out over the next year ahead of COP28, but from the inclusion of loss and damage on the agenda, to the agreement to establish a fund, this COP has delivered a real breakthrough for vulnerable and developing countries. ” 

COP27 also produced a package of decisions from countries worldwide. On Adaptation agreement was reached on the way to move forward on the Global Goal on Adaptation, which will conclude at COP28 and inform the first Global Stocktake, improving resilience amongst the most vulnerable.

New pledges, totaling more than USD 230 million, were made to the Adaptation Fund at COP27. These pledges will help many more vulnerable communities adapt to climate change through concrete adaptation solutions.

The Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan, highlights that a global transformation to a low-carbon economy is expected to require investments of at least USD 4-6 trillion a year.

The UN’s Simon Steill reminded the delegates in the closing plenary that the world is in a critical decade for climate action.

Link: Climate Plans Remain Insufficient: More Ambitious Action Needed Now

The UN’s Climate Change Report states that the implementation of current pledges by national governments has put the world on track for a 2.5°C warmer world by the end of the century. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates that greenhouse gas emissions must decline 45% by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Friends of the Earth Scotland campaigners have called out the big polluters and their continued use of fossil fuels. Mary Church said:

“The hypocrisy we witnessed at these climate talks from rich historical polluters on the issue of fossil fuel phase out is staggering. There is nothing to stop countries from phasing out fossil fuels, and yet the UK and the US in particular are doing the opposite with their vast expansion plans. Alok Sharma must take his table thumping on fossil fuel phase out back home and demand the UK Government overturn their climate trashing plans for North Sea oil and gas expansion and to reject the new coal mine planned in Cumbria.

“The Scottish Government too must turn its climate leadership on the international stage into concrete actions at home to get back on track to meeting its climate targets. It must clarify its position on oil and gas and set an end date for fossil fuels within this decade in order to have any chance of delivering on our fair share of climate action.”

Image credit Bell

FM Nicola Sturgeon commented:

“It is deeply disappointing that the recognition of loss and damage has not been matched by greater action to prevent a worsening of the climate crisis.  Keeping 1.5 alive and delivering the fastest possible transition away from fossil fuels is key to preventing greater loss and damage in the future.  Alongside loss and damage we needed to see progress on adaptation and mitigation, on the submission of new national contributions, a pathway to 2030 and a strengthening of the language of the Glasgow Pact.

“It is simply not good enough that countries failed to make progress on that agenda, and that there has been such a strong push back on action we all know is needed if 1.5 is to remain truly within reach. It is vitally important that countries recommit themselves to doing everything they can to ensure we keep 1.5 alive and to building a coalition ahead of COP28 that protects and drives progress against any further push back.

“Despite that disappointment, and the challenges faced by civil society in having their voice heard in Egypt, the breakthrough on loss and damage is what I hope COP27 will be remembered for, and that is a vital step forward for the developing world.”

COP27 was held over the two weeks of 6th to 18th of November in  Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. British prisoner of conscience Alaa Abd El-Fattah’s release has still not been secured and his situation remains extremely precarious.

British national and activist for human rights in Egypt Alaa Abdel Fattah has been on hunger-strike since 2 April in protest of his unjust imprisonment, cruel detention conditions and denial of consular visits. In December 2021, an emergency court sentenced him and human rights lawyer Mohamed Baker to five and four years in prison, respectively, following a grossly unfair trial. They are prisoners of conscience, solely targeted for their activism, and should be immediately and unconditionally released. Amnesty

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Fiona Grahame

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