EU tables ‘loss and damage’ proposal in bid to break summit deadlock – The Irish Times


A possible breakthrough emerged in the deadlock of global climate talks at the COP27 summit after the European Union made an early morning proposal aimed at resolving the loss and damage impasse.

In the early hours of the summit on Friday, European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans unveiled a proposal on behalf of the EU that would see it agree to create a fund for loss and damage, but targeted to the countries most vulnerable.

Rich countries had resisted this key demand, arguing that it would take time to establish whether such a fund was needed and how it would work.

Mr Timmermans said on Friday morning that the EU had listened to the G77 group of developing countries, for whom the creation of a fund at this summit is a key demand.

Loss and damage refers to the devastation of extreme weather on the physical and social infrastructure of poor countries, as well as the funding needed for rescue and reconstruction after climate-related disasters. It also recognizes past and future emissions caused by rich countries that have contributed the most to the climate crisis.

Mr Timmermans said: ‘We were reluctant to set up a fund, it was not our idea to have a fund. My reluctance was due to the fact that I know from experience that it takes time to create a fund, and even more time to fill it, when we have existing instruments.

“I really believe that we could go faster with the existing instruments [for climate finance]. But since they [the G77] are so committed to a fund, we agreed.

Mr Timmermans added that “clear conditions” would be attached to any funds. It would focus on supporting the most vulnerable, with a broad base of financial donors contributing to the fund.

The fund would not operate in isolation, but as part of a patchwork of solutions that includes the reform of multilateral development banks, for example.

At the same time, the EU wants more ambition on emissions reductions, with stricter provisions on updated national emission reduction plans in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degree target and a peak global emissions by 2025.

“It should be a package deal,” Mr. Timmermans said.

The UN climate agency on Friday released a draft negotiating text for the deal that summit delegates hope to agree in the coming days.

The text, which builds on earlier less formal iterations, did not define the proposed solution to one of the summit’s most contentious issues, “loss and damage” financial arrangements to provide financing to developing countries. suffering from catastrophic climatic events.

Instead, it contained placeholder text, indicating that delegates were still seeking consensus on the issue.

The issue was put on the official summit agenda for the first time in what was seen as a breakthrough on a topic that has long divided developed and developing countries.

The overall text of the agreement, time stamped at 3:30 a.m. reflecting the intensity of the final negotiations, reaffirmed key points from last year’s Cop26 agreement in Glasgow and the 2015 Paris agreement on limiting the rise global temperatures.

The text states that the conference: “reaffirms the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement to keep the increase in global average temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. .”

Upon returning to COP27 in Egypt, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said relations between developed and developing countries were breaking down.

There has been “clearly a breach of trust” between the North and the South, he concluded.

“Now is not the time to point fingers. The blame game is a recipe for mutually assured destruction,” Mr. Guterres said. “I am here to call on all parties to rise to this moment and of the greatest challenge facing humanity. The world is watching us with a simple message to all of us: “Hang on and deliver.”

He stressed the need for “agreed solutions before us – to address loss and damage, to close the emissions gap and to secure funding.”

After briefing Mr. Guterres, Cop27 President Sameh Shoukry, who is leading the negotiations, said: “Although progress has been made on a large number of issues, it is evident that at this late stage in the process of COP27, there are still a number of issues where progress remains insufficient, with persistent differences of opinion between the parties.

Climate Minister Eamon Ryan, who leads the European side on loss and damage, confirmed the lack of progress but said a meaningful outcome could still be achieved.

“It’s frustrating not just for this issue of loss and damage… [but also] the wider failure to shut down many of what shouldn’t be controversial texts. But we can still do it,” he told a briefing.

Explaining the EU’s position, he added: “We want to prioritize, above all, the most vulnerable people on the planet. This is the first essential principle that we must put in place. It has been presented here in the form of a “Yes/No, would you accept a fund?” But in fact, the first question is ‘Yes/No, can we support the most vulnerable?’


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