COP 27 nears end amid significant disagreement on “loss and damage”

Brazilian President is star of conference today
COP 27 nears end amid significant disagreement on “loss and damage”
COP 27

Two days before the official end of COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, there is still considerable divergence over the creation of a mechanism demanded by vulnerable countries to compensate for the “loss and damage” they have suffered as a result of warming.

COP27 president in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh Sameh Shoukry spoke of “progress”, but added: “There is certainly a lot left if we want a solid outcome that will drive ambitious and inclusive climate action.”

The first draft of the final declaration, published on Monday-Tuesday night, is limited to a list of points and reaffirms some of the controversial principles, including “the need to act quickly to keep the 1.5 degrees target possible.”

The 2015 Paris climate agreement set the goal of limiting warming below 2 degrees Celsius, if possible, to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

Signatories to the deal pledged last year at COP26 in Glasgow to keep its most ambitious goal “alive”.

There seems to be some reticence to mention the 1.5°C targets in the final declaration, while the world is heading for catastrophic warming of 2.8°C.

The second issue at the heart of the negotiations is to demand that developing countries create a special mechanism to finance the “loss and damage” they have suffered as a result of climate warming.

The topic of loss and damage was included for the first time on the official calendar of the COP Conference. But developed and developing countries are divided on whether a new mechanism should be put in place or whether existing financial institutions can provide the necessary funds.

A draft resolution presented by the Group of 77 + China, which represents more than 130 emerging and poor countries, stipulates that COP27 will decide “to establish a fund for developing countries to cover their costs in terms of economic and non-economic losses and damages.”

The project also includes a transitional phase, with the Fund’s “Operational Principles and Measures” to be endorsed at the next COP conference at the latest, by the end of 2023.

The United States said last week that it and others would not support a “legal entity linked to compensation or liability.”

Other developed countries want to move at a slower pace than the timetable set out by the Group of 77 in the document.

The European Union, which is very opposed to the United States for a special mechanism, reiterated its “support” for the most vulnerable countries in the face of the effects of climate change and expressed its readiness to “agree on a process to identify solutions and take urgent action to increase funding.”

Brazilian President


Today, the conference welcomes Brazil’s president-elect Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva as he awaits his plan to protect the Amazon after the heavy chopping of trees in this rainforest, considered the “lungs of the world”, during the Jair Bolsonaro era.

“Brazil will return as a reference on global climate,” Lula, who previously served as Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2010, wrote in a tweet from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where the annual U.N. climate conference is held.

Under far-right Bolsonaro, Brazil, Latin America’s largest country, has become isolated on the international stage, due to policies exacerbating the cutting of Amazon trees in a vital forest that has been mostly destroyedby fires.

Lula may announce that his country is a candidate to host the COP30 in 2025.

The tropical Amazon forest, which lies 60 percent of Brazil’s total area, is the world’s largest carbon well and is vital to fighting climate warming.  Due to warming and logging, the forest is in a very fragile state. A study published in March showed that the forest is rapidly approaching the “point of no return” that could turn it into a savannah (a grassland with a long dry season).

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