After three decades of climate negotiation, COP27 for the first time put loss and damage on the agenda. This COP in fact has been named as the #LossandDamage COP and sometimes has also been referred to as the implementing COP. It is a major milestone achieved after close to 30 years of advocacy and activism.
The COP27 has given a hope to the impacted communities as the countries on the frontlines of the #ClimateCrisis have always called for #LossandDamage funding facilities. The first two weeks of COP27, there confusion as to negotiations, whether we would reach an agreement to set up a new funding arrangement for loss and damage. There was lot of back and forth and the negotiation was extended beyond Friday 18th November. G77 recognised the importance of standing together in unity and being firm on the demand of loss and damage. Civil society organisations did amazing advocacy work throughout the two weeks.
Bangladesh participants comprised of politicians, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, academicians, civil society representatives and young climate activists and they were very active, persuasive and visible with their asks in this COP27. Advocacy and activism not being easy at Sharm el Sheikh, we had to be creative and persistent. There were many hurdles, and we were being thrown off-board as varied ideas and proposals were floated by developed countries. But all’s well that ends well in terms of loss and damage.
The COP27 negotiation closed on an agreement to establish a new loss and damage fund: “To establish a new funding arrangement for assisting developing countries in responding to loss and damage, including a focus on addressing loss and damage by providing and assisting in mobilising new and additional resources, and that these new arrangements complement the existing arrangements for financial support from other sources, funds, process and initiatives, including outside the convention and the Paris agreement.” This is truly historical!
Critics will of course say that this is just an agreement to set up a fund but where is the funds? What about the modalities? What about the sources of funding? When will it translate into real implementation, etc. etc. Undoubtedly, we will have to work on all these fronts.
1.5C Commitment-Emission reduction: We will have to look into the pledges global leaders made and refer to Glasgow COP about cutting down carbon emissions as at COP26, countries agreed to focus on a 1.5c limit. This has not happened! Cutting greenhouse emissions by countries remain WEAK. Attempts at COP27 to discuss 1.5c were made. A resolution however to cause emissions to peak by 2025 was taken, and this is of serious concern for those of us on the frontline of climate crisis. At COP26 in Glasgow, a commitment to phase down the use of coal was agreed, a first-time resolution included in the final text. Attempts made at COP27 to include a commitment to phase down all fossil fuels did not succeed. Global emitters were reluctant to transit to renewable energy and the urgency to meet the target on a faster rate.
We have to keep the spotlight on 1.5 degrees emission target, and on gender equity in regard to adaptation funding as well as in the area of loss and damage. Making the negotiations inclusive with participation of women, young people, indigenous and people with disabilities is also critical. We have a year to go before COP28 to work on all these areas.
I’m hopeful this is the beginning of a new era in our fight to ensure climate justice.