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Climate Change

Minimum Progress On Mitigation, Climate Finance At COP27: Experts

When compared to COP26, the summit this year has brought in stronger language on renewables and included the just transition principles while bringing up energy transition, experts said

Minimum Progress On Mitigation, Climate Finance At COP27: Experts
The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition, wrote UN General Secretary António Guterres

New Delhi: Experts say COP27 in Egypt did the bare minimum to address the causes of global warming, particularly the issue of fossil fuels, though it delivered better-than-expected results to deal with loss and damage caused by climate change-induced disasters. UN General Secretary António Guterres summed it up in a tweet: “A fund for loss and damage is essential – but it’s not an answer if the climate crisis washes a small island state off the map – or turns an entire African country to desert. The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition.”

Also Read: Explainer: How Far Has COP27 Inched Beyond Past Climate Deals?

Many hoped that the agreement would include a “phase-down of all fossil fuels” and not just coal, as proposed by India and backed by many developed and developing countries, including the EU nations and the US, but the final agreement did not essentially build on what was agreed upon in COP26 in Scotland.

A number of developed countries rued the agreement leaving out the call for peaking of emissions before 2025 and the weakening of language on the transition to green energy, but chose not to intervene on Sunday as it would have risked the loss and damage deal that poor and vulnerable nations had wanted for long.

Alden Meyer, senior associate, climate change think tank E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism), said,

While a big step forward was achieved at COP27 in addressing loss and damage, progress was minimal on raising mitigation ambition and scaling up climate finance.

“We leave Sharm El-Sheikh having done way too little to shrink the huge gap in ambition between countries’ 2030 emissions targets and what’s needed to keep 1.5 degrees Celsius alive,” he said.

Also Read: Key Takeaways From The COP27 Climate Summit In Egypt

In an analysis, the think tank said,

The world recognised the need for transformation of the financial system in order to finance the transition and resilience needs of developing countries. However, there was little new money on the table. Global climate finance for 2019-20 was noted as currently only 31-32 per cent of the annual investment required, and parties requested Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) action a substantial list of reforms. The role of the private sector in financial system reform was noted, along with the importance of private sector accountability for net zero pledges and delivery.

However, when compared to COP26, the summit this year has brought in stronger language on renewables and included the just transition principles while bringing up energy transition, experts said.

Another sharp message from COP27 is to reform multilateral development banks to provide more climate finance without forcing developing countries deeper into debt, said Ulka Kelkar, Director, Climate Program, World Resources Institute.

COP27 also creates a new just transition work programme which is relevant for countries like India that have large workforces in fossil fuel-dependent sectors, she said.

Also Read: Climate Summit: India Flags Concerns Over Rich Nations’ Efforts To Extend Scope Of Mitigation To Agriculture

Just transition means transition to a low-carbon development strategy over a time scale that ensures food and energy security, growth and employment, leaving no one behind in the process. Ulka Kelkar said,

Just as the G20 communique made a strong statement against war, the final decision from COP27 could have made a powerful commitment in the current energy crisis to phase out all fossil fuels. Instead, it only called for a diversified energy mix, implicitly accepting the continued expansion of gas.

Shreeshan Venkatesh, Climate Policy Lead, Climate Trends said,

A worrying aspect of the COP has been a systematic and broad undermining of the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, which are very important for countries like India. This attempt to renegotiate and dilute these guiding principles, as was seen in the cover decision text as well as across negotiation tracks, is likely only going to get starker in the coming years, and India must prepare to confront these efforts effectively and tactfully.

According to negotiators from developing countries, rich nations demanded intensification of climate plans to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and made efforts for the inclusion of emerging economies, such as China and India, among donors for climate finance, disregarding the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC).

Also Read: Climate Justice Gets Harder As World Population Passes 8 Billion

In climate parlance, equity means that each country’s share of carbon dioxide emissions is equal to its share of the global population.

The CBDR-RC principle recognises that each country is responsible for addressing climate change but developed countries should bear primary responsibilities as they account for most of the historical and current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Dr Navroz Dubash from the Centre for Policy Research said the scolding on mitigation progress by the EU smacks of duplicity.

Without steep declines in developed country emissions and substantial new climate finance, keeping to 1.5 degrees Celsius will require squeezing energy demand in poor countries. Lack of progress on providing finance adds insult to injury.

Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, ActionAid Association, said the continuing dependence on fossil fuels risks breaching the 1.5 degrees-Celsius target. He said,

Sadly, COP27 could not come to any decision to phase out all fossil fuels in a sustainable and equitable manner, including oil and gas. Nevertheless, the Indian proposal at COP27 was an important starting point.

Also Read: India Submits Long-Term Strategy To Achieve Net-Zero Target By 2070

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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