Climate Change

Loss and damage funding officially included in COP27 agenda

Loss and damage financing has been a long-standing demand of developing and vulnerable countries including India

By Jayanta Basu
Published: Sunday 06 November 2022

Countries have agreed to discuss providing financial support to address loss and damage caused by climate change at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The decision was taken as COP27 kicked off in the Red Sea resort town. It may have significant bearing for low-lying vulnerable coastal areas including the Sundarbans, the world’s largest delta shared by India and Bangladesh.

Loss and damage finance is a mechanism to support areas and communities that have already been severely affected by climatic impact.

It has been a long-standing demand of developing and vulnerable countries including India. But developed countries so far have blocked the process.

The issue was pushed in the 26th Conference of Parties in Glasgow, UK last year by developing countries. But the developed block, led by the United States, managed to turn the loss and damage provision to a dialogue on the last day.

Developed countries are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and hence are likely to be pushed to provide the bulk of the funding.

They finally allowed the item to be formally discussed as the developing countries and civil society threatened severe implications in the event of a refusal. The discussion will conclude within two years.

“It’s a very welcome start to COP27 and now we can discuss the modalities of the process in a formal manner. The United Kingdom and other developed countries more or less accepted it before but the US was not accepting,” Saleemul Huq, a senior climate scientist and advisor to least developed countries, told this reporter.

However, the developed countries accepted the agenda with a trade-off that it would not include ‘compensation and liability’ targeting to evade historical responsibility of emissions.

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