SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov 20,4:32 Am – Nations concluded this year’s United Nations climate conference on Sunday with a hard-fought agreement to establish a fund to assist third-world countries hit by climate disasters, even as many criticized its lack of ambition in addressing the emissions that cause them.
The agreement was praised as an achievement for reacting to the already terrible consequences of global warming on backward nations. However, several countries claimed they felt forced to abandon harsher promises to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius for the agreement on the loss and damage fund to be implemented.
COP27 achieves climate fund
Delegates exhausted from the previous night’s marathon discussions raised no complaints as Egypt’s COP27 President Sameh Shoukry hurried through the last agenda items and gaveled the agreement. Despite the lack of consensus on a firmer commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement’s 1.5 C goal, Jennifer Morgan told the sources clearly that they wanted to remain concerned about what was most needed.
The COP27 accord text on fossil fuels substantially repeats language from Glasgow, urging parties to expedite the phasedown efforts of unabated coal power and the phaseout of costly fossil fuel subsidies. Attempts to incorporate a promise or reduce the use of all fossil fuels failed.
A separate “mitigation work plan” deal, also accepted on Sunday, had many elements that some parties, including the European Union, supported, though it undermined the commitment to ever-higher emissions-cutting objectives.
Critics highlighted a part that they claimed contradicted the Glasgow pledge to update emissions targets on a regular basis, with phrasing stating that the work plan would “not impose new objectives or aims.” Another component of the COP27 agreement abandoned the notion of yearly goal renewal in favor of returning to the Paris pact’s lengthier
The agreement for a loss and damage fund represented a diplomatic victory for small islands and other vulnerable nations, as it won over the 27-nation European Union and the United States. They had long opposed the idea, fearing that such a fund would expose them to legal liability for historic emissions.
Concerns were alleviated by language in the agreement requiring cash to come from a range of existing sources, including financial institutions, rather than depending on affluent countries to contribute. The Marshall Islands’ climate envoy said she was “tired” but pleased with the fund’s acceptance.
John Kerry, the US Special Climate Envoy, who was unable to attend the weekend talks due to testing positive for COVID-19, hailed the agreement on Sunday to “create measures to react to the terrible effects of climate change on resilient people throughout the world.” In a statement, he stated that he will continue to urge large emitters such as China to increase their emissions to keep the 1.5 C target alive.
The Maldives’ climate minister bemoaned a lack of ambition in reducing emissions as the country prepares to be inundated by climate-driven sea level rise.
“I acknowledge the progress we accomplished at COP27” with the loss and damage fund, said Aminath Shauna addressing the plenary. But “we failed at mitigation…” We must strengthen our aim to reach a peak in emissions by 2025. “We must phase out fossil fuels.”