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HomeAsiaWhat's in it for South Asia? – DW – 11/21/2022

What’s in it for South Asia? – DW – 11/21/2022

Participating countries This year’s UN Climate Summit (COP27) An agreement was reached on Sunday in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh Setting up a “loss and damage” fund To help developing countries and countries vulnerable to climate change overcome the devastating impacts of worsening extreme weather events.

The agreement came despite initial resistance from wealthy countries, which are largely responsible for most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, to the idea of ​​compensating poorer countries for climate impacts.

Many of the poorer and more vulnerable countries have long sought financial aid to help pay for the damage caused by this. Environmental disaster caused by climate change.

“With the creation of the new Loss and Damage Fund, COP27 sent a warning signal to polluters,” said Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International.

“From now on, they must compensate for the damage they have caused, and hold those facing superheated storms, devastating floods, and rising sea levels accountable.

“Countries must now work together to ensure that the new fund is fully operational and responsive to the most vulnerable people and communities bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.”

Salimul Huk, a climate expert in Bangladesh and a longtime campaigner for such a fund, said the establishment of the fund was a “great achievement.”

After the two-week meeting formally concluded, he said it was the “first COP” in this “new era in which we can say we are facing loss and damage from climate change.”

COP27 Negotiators Sign Climate Compensation Agreement

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thorny topic

Loss and damage was one of the most troubling topics at COP27.

The G77, a group of over 130 developing countries, is determined to move forward on this front, adding the issue to the official COP agenda for the first time.

In climate negotiations, Countries in South Asia, one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable regions united in their demands for loss and damage funds.

Pakistan, the current G77 presidency, has led the fight for climate change assistance to developing countries, with support from its neighbors.

Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said: The country was hit by massive deadly floods in the summersaid the fund was not “optimal” but addressed the “basic demand” of developing countries for major historically polluting countries such as the United States and the European Union to help vulnerable countries pay for damages. rice field due to climate change.

Details still need to be worked out, but the final agreement calls for a workshop in late 2023 on how the fund will work.

In the final text of the agreement, countries “welcome the first consideration of the issue of financing arrangements to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including a focus on addressing loss and damage. ‘ said.

In order to make the Fund operational by 2023, a 24-member transition committee should be established with members from both developed and developing countries.

Sharm el-Sheikh negotiators also agreed to set up the so-called Santiago Network. This is an organization dedicated to providing technical assistance to countries in need of rebuilding from climate change catastrophes.

Uncertainty Surrounding New Fund

The deal on climate compensation payments represented a major U-turn in negotiations after the EU softened its position near the end of the summit. Large polluters have previously resisted certain funds for fear of being held accountable for all climate-related extreme weather events.

But climate activists remain skeptical Given the uncertainty surrounding the establishment of the damages fund.

There are open questions about who will contribute how much to the fund and who will be the beneficiaries. It’s also unclear which countries fall into the “particularly vulnerable” category, and working out the details could be a moot point.

The European Union and the US say they want to broaden their donor base by including China, which Beijing is likely to oppose.

This issue means that it will likely take some time for the fund to go live.

“As you understand, it will take time to put it into operation. It is doubtful whether the operational method will be established within a year,” said Mirza Shawkat Ali, an official at Bangladesh’s Ministry of Environment. told DW.

Pakistan-based writer Afia Salam also believes it will take time to reach agreement on all modalities and mechanisms related to the fund.

“This is just the beginning, which means we will need at least a few more COP meetings before the revenue stream is formalized,” she said, adding that “what happens in the meantime” is clear. He added that it is not.

Distraction?

At COP27, there was much discussion about financial mechanisms, including bonds, insurance and other innovative means of providing support.

A plan led by the G7 countries, called “Global Shield” Launched during the conference, aimed at rapidly providing prearranged insurance and other financial assistance to communities in low-income countries hit by climate disasters such as floods, droughts and hurricanes .

This was coordinated by the German G7 Presidency and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) group of climate-vulnerable countries.

Berlin said it would provide €170 million ($172 million) for the initiative, with countries such as Denmark and Ireland also pledging millions of euros in funding.

Critics, however, called it a “distraction” from the actual damages fund.

COP27: Young Asians Affected by Climate Change Raise Their Voices

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Not enough to overcome challenges?

Many poor countries say they need subsidies, not loans and insurance that could lead to countries vulnerable to climate change. especially the south And Southeast Asia has a huge debt burden, Salam said.

She stressed that the funds pledged so far by rich countries are simply not enough.

Salam said countries like Nigeria alone “need trillions of dollars” to deal with the damage caused by climate change, suggesting that wealthy countries and the international financial system need to help tackle the challenges. He said he did not believe he was allocating the huge amount needed.

In 2009, developed countries agreed to provide $100 billion annually to help developing countries transition to green energy systems and adapt to climate change.

But so far, that initiative has never been fully funded.

According to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data, such contributions amounted to $83 billion (€83 billion) in 2020, with just $29 billion in funding for adaptation.

However, an October report from Oxfam estimated that the actual amount could be much lower than reported, while up to 70% of the public portion of climate change finance comes from lending. It’s in shape.

“The South of the world sounded angry at COP27 because they never saw past promises delivered. is not well-retained,” Salam said.

Editing: Srinivas Mazumdar

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