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COP27 ends; loss and damage fund, other agendas adopted

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment (Conservation-related issues)

 

Source: DTE

 Direction: The article highlights the agenda, and outcomes of COP27. We have previously done a few articles on this, but this article shows the final outcome of COP27.

 Context: All agendas, including the loss and damage fund and the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan, were adopted during the UNFCCC COP27 closing ceremony in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Background:

  • Delegates from 197 countries (all are of the Paris Climate Accord) gathered at the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27).
  • They came together to find a solution to prevent global temperatures from reaching 2 degrees Celsius above the long-term average temperature between 1951 and 1980.

What was on the agenda of COP27?

  • Mitigation:
    • The goal of mitigation is to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.
    • However, despite making big commitments such as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), progress since COP26 has been severely inadequate (Emissions Gap Report 2022).
  • Adaptation: According to the Global Climate Risk Index, developing and poor countries (Mozambique, South Sudan, India, etc.) were the countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2019.
    • Over $350 million and $600 million were pledged to the Adaptation Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund, at COP26.
    • These efforts, however, must be backed up by political will.
  • Finance: At the 2009 COP15 meeting, developed countries agreed to pledge $100 billion per year by 2020 (extended until 2025 during COP21) to assist developing countries in dealing with climate change. However, this has not occurred.
  • Collaboration: There is the need to call upon governments, public society and the private sector to collaborate to change the way humans interact with the world.

 Outcomes of the COP27 on these agendas:

  • The Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan: It emphasised that a global transition to a low-carbon economy will require at least $4-6 trillion in annual spending.
  • Mitigation work programme: This would begin this year and last until 2030. Governments were requested –
    • To revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their national climate plans by the end of 2023.
    • To accelerate efforts to phase down unabated coal power and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
    • To reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) in applicable sectors through increased renewable and low-emission energy.
  • Loss and damage (L&D): COP27 adopted the basic demand of a fund to acknowledge assistance needed for particularly vulnerable developing countries. However, there is no agreement yet on how finance should be provided and where it should come from.
  • Fossil fuels: India wanted to include a commitment to phase down all fossil fuels (and not just coal). But the resolution failed.
  • Other outcomes:
    • The New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate finance and the Global Goal on Adaptation, which is equivalent to the global goal on mitigation of limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    • The CMA (countries who have signed and ratified the Paris Agreement) also adopted Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which allows countries to voluntarily cooperate with each other to achieve emission reduction targets set out in their NDCs.
    • World Bank Reforms: recapitalisation of the development banks to allow them to provide far more assistance to the developing world

 Challenges ahead:

  • No contributions have been pledged to the L&D fund.
  • Extra burden on the developing countries. They have been asked to revise their climate action plans (NDCs), with progressively stronger actions every year.
  • Developed countries have failed to meet their commitment. For example, mobilising a relatively small sum of USD 100 billion per year.

 Way ahead: To provide funding for mitigation and adaptation, the financial system and its structures and processes will need to be transformed, involving governments, central banks, commercial banks, institutional investors and other financial actors.

 

Insta Links:

Loss and damage funding officially included in the COP27 agenda

 

Mains Links:

Q. Describe the major outcomes of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). What are the commitments made by the India conference? (UPSC 2021)

 

Prelims Links:

Consider the following statements regarding Green Climate Fund (GCF).

  1. It is a fund established within the framework of the UNFCCC.
  2. The Fund’s investments can be in the form of grants only.
  3. GCF has established a direct access modality so that national and sub-national organisations can receive funding directly, rather than only via international intermediaries.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 1, 2 only

c) 1, 3 only

d) All of the above

 

Solution: c)

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change. GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change. It seeks to promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs of nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts.

It was set up by the countries who are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, as part of the Convention’s financial mechanism.

GCF’s activities are aligned with the priorities of developing countries through the principle of country ownership, and the Fund has established a direct access modality so that national and sub-national organisations can receive funding directly, rather than only via international intermediaries.

The Fund’s investments can be in the form of grants, loans, equity or guarantees.