Climate delegates flock to Cairo to prepare for upcoming UN summit – Mother Jones
This story was originally posted by Canadian National Observer and is reproduced here as part of the Climate office collaboration.
With only two months Ahead of the start of the UN climate conference in Egypt, delegates are heading to Cairo this weekend to discuss priorities and advocates are fighting to ensure climate reparations stays on the agenda.
Also known as loss and damage financing, climate reparations refers to the money that some governments and civil society groups say they need to make available to poorer countries to help them cope with the devastating effects climate change, such as the brutal floods that killed more than 1,300 people in Pakistan. and left more than $10 billion in damages.
At last year’s climate conference in Glasgow, the United States and the European Union canceled plans for funds that would give countries money to deal with climate impacts. The plan was proposed by China and the G77, a coalition of 134 developing countries representing the largest negotiating bloc. Essentially, rich countries don’t want to risk being held liable for damages, even though they are largely responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions that continue to push the planet into dangerous temperatures.
On Tuesday, more than 400 organizations signed an open letter calling on delegates attending this weekend’s meeting to ensure that loss and damage financing remains on the official agenda at COP27, held in Sharm el-Sheikh. in November. As countries shape the agenda for the conference, developing countries fear that rich countries will try to keep loss and damage financing off the agenda to ensure that no progress is made. be realized.
“The devastating floods in Pakistan are a testament to the deep inequality and injustice caused by wealthy polluters who have been spewing out emissions relentlessly and blocking financial aid to people facing the climate emergency,” said the head of the Climate Action Network International Global Policy Strategy, Harjeet Singh. statement. “Loss and damage financing is a key issue for the upcoming climate conference in Egypt. The credibility of the climate talks hangs by a thread.
“The COP27 conference will be considered a failure if developed countries continue to ignore the demand of developing countries to establish a loss and damage financing mechanism to help people recover from worsening floods, fires forest and rising seas,” Singh added.
The open letter stresses that COP27 will be a failure if there is no outcome on what is called the Glasgow Dialogue, a process of discussing loss and damage launched at COP last year. He also notes that unlike other forms of climate finance that rich countries have promised poor countries, there is still no system in place to deliver the money.
Money for “emergency relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and inevitable resettlement is currently missing from the financial architecture,” the letter read. Funding for loss and damage “must” come from grants rather than loans, to avoid subjecting countries to an “unsustainable debt burden”, and should be provided in addition to other forms of funding such as development and emergency humanitarian assistance, says the letter.
Loss and damage should also be separated from so-called mitigation and adaptation finance, the other two branches of international climate finance. Mitigation funding is money that could be used to invest in renewable energy to reduce emissions, for example, while adaptation funding would be for projects such as seawalls to help mitigate the impacts of sea level rise.
Canada’s commitment is to provide approximately $4 billion (US) from 2021 to 2026 for mitigation and adaptation, with loans accounting for 60% of this figure. The country’s fair share, given its role among the world’s top 10 polluters of all time, has been estimated by Climate Action Network to be at least $3.8 billion a year.
In May, Canada’s climate minister, Steven Guilbeault, said Canadian National Observer he was ready to discuss loss and damage, but that the space for fruitful negotiations lay in the ability of countries to move beyond the issue of liability. He suggested that framing loss and damage as part of a new way of doing international development could be a way to overcome this obstacle.