Home news So a breakthrough in the area of ​​loss and damage at the COP27 climate summit?

So a breakthrough in the area of ​​loss and damage at the COP27 climate summit?

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Three proposals are on the table in Sharm el-Sheikh. As planned, the climate summit will be extended.

Breakthrough in the field of loss and damage, the theme of the COP27 climate summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, suddenly seems within reach. A five-page document was released late Thursday evening. It lists three proposals to respond to the request of the most vulnerable countries to support the damage already suffered as a result of climate change.

Three proposals

A first option is to create a new fund. An alternative includes the creation of a new fund at the upcoming COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates. The last option only mentions “new and improved funding arrangements”. These should therefore be worked out at the next climate summit at the end of next year.

For a long time, the European Union held back when it came to creating a new fund. But during Thursday evening’s plenary session, EU negotiator Frans Timmermans made a proposal. According to Timmermans, the openness comes because otherwise there didn’t seem to be a consensus going on.

Objection

However, the Vice-President of the European Commission lays down a number of conditions. For example, all countries must take additional measures to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and only the most vulnerable countries can receive money from the fund. China, among others, would be left behind. In addition, all major economies, including China, are also expected to contribute to the fund.

It is striking that not all EU Member States seem to support the proposal. For example, the office of the Flemish Minister for Energy and the Environment Zuhal Demir stated that our country, among others, had lodged an objection.

“I regret that Timmermans is taking on all sorts of new funding mechanisms, just to wash his own image a bit,” Demir said in a press release Friday morning. “European countries, and certainly our country, are already doing a lot of international climate finance. Above all, let’s use them wisely before creating all sorts of new funding mechanisms.

Demir, who is not physically present in Sharm-el-Sheikh, points out that several EU Member States, including our country, but also Germany, Sweden, Slovakia and Poland, had indicated during the European coordination meeting on Thursday that they were not in favor of a new mechanism for financing losses and damages.

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Demir argues that the proposal goes against the Belgian position and previous statements by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. “The issue of loss and damage financing needs to be resolved for us through current tools and mechanisms. Belgium does not see the creation of a new funding facility at COP27 as a solution as it cannot grasp the complexities of loss and damage funding, may lead to duplication with existing channels and will not lead to tangible short-term solutions for the most vulnerable communities.

This position is clearly inscribed as a Belgian position, in agreement between all the governments, recalls the Minister. “During the morning coordination meeting between the Belgian ministers this morning, Flanders made it clear that it stands by its previous position, in line with previous statements by Prime Minister De Croo,” concludes Demir.

G77: Only the first option is sufficient

The organization of more than 130 developing countries, known as the G77, wants only an immediate fund to cover loss and damage caused by climate change. Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said so during Friday’s conference. “We need solutions that are as simple and quick as possible,” he said.

The G77 thus sweeps two options off the table.

During Friday afternoon’s plenary session, Rehman has already announced that he is in favor of the first option “subject to some adjustments”. Pakistan, which was hit by severe flooding earlier this year, holds the G77 presidency this year. The group is an important negotiating bloc at climate conventions.

The COP27 climate summit is late

The topic of loss and damage seemed to have long been the bone of contention at COP27. Poorer countries have been calling for years for rich countries to step in to cover the damage and loss that climate change has already caused. This includes the consequences of exceptional drought or flooding, but also sea level rise and desertification. Loss and damage was officially put on the agenda for the first time this year.

On Friday afternoon, it was announced that COP27, like many previous editions, would be extended. President Sameh Shoukry officially announced it at the opening of the plenary session. “I am determined to wrap up this conference tomorrow,” Shoukry said. At the same time, he called on all delegations to “step up a gear”.

Normally, the curtain on COP27 should fall at 6 p.m. local time on Friday evening. That COP27 goes into extensions is not so surprising in itself. All previous editions have also expired.

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