Developed world tries to avoid responsiblity for climate change
NEW DELHI: A first formal draft of the UN climate summit deal in Egypt was published on Friday, yet again leaving out India's call for phase down of all fossil fuels and without any proposal on loss and damage funding.
It reaffirmed that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires rapid and deep emission cuts.
Loss and damage refer to the consequences of climate change that go beyond what people can adapt to, or when options exist but a community doesn't have the resources to access or utilise them.
Financing or a new fund for addressing loss and damage -- for example money needed for relocating people displaced by floods -- has been a long-pending demand of poor and developing countries, including India. But rich countries have avoided discussions on it for over a decade.
Experts said it is surprising that the call for phasing down all fossil fuels didn't find a place in the draft text despite most developing countries and some developed nations, including the US, and the European Union supporting it.
India had proposed last Saturday that the talks wrap up with a decision to “phase down” all fossil fuels and not just coal. EU Vice President Frans Timmermans told the media on Tuesday that the bloc would support India's proposal “if it comes on top of what we already agreed in Glasgow”.
According to media reports, US climate envoy John Kerry said the US will support the proposal as long as it focuses on “unabated oil and gas”.
The 10-page draft deal document published on Friday is a refined version of the 20-page “non-paper” (or an informal draft) published by the UN climate agency on Thursday.
The draft text on COP 27's overarching decision puts a “placeholder” on funding arrangements to address loss and damage, which means parties are yet to reach a consensus on the matter.
It “encourages the continued efforts to accelerate measures towards the phase down of unabated coal power and phase out and rationalize inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, in line with national circumstances and recognizing the need for support towards just transitions”.
The draft reaffirms that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century, as well as deep reductions in other greenhouse gases.
It calls for a roadmap for the delivery of the committed doubling of adaptation finance by 2025. It has been estimated that adaptation finance was roughly USD 20 billion per year in 2019. A doubling of efforts would bring it near the USD 40-billion mark.
The draft deal document also expresses grave concern that the goal of developed countries to jointly mobilize USD 100 billion per year by 2020 has not yet been met and urges them to meet the target and “address the shortfall to USD 100 billion since 2020”.
It also notes that global climate finance flows are small relative to the overall needs of developing countries.
Global climate finance in 2019-2020 was estimated to be USD 803 billion. This amount is 31 32 per cent of the annual investment needed for the global temperature rise to follow a well below two degree Celsius or a 1.5 degree-Celsius pathway.
“This level of climate finance is also below what one would expect in the light of the investment opportunities identified and the cost of failure to meet climate stabilization targets,” it said.
The draft cover text commends the parties that submitted updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs). India submitted its updated NDCs to the UNFCCC in August.
The formal draft also urges parties to communicate new or updated long-term low-emission development strategies aimed at enhancing contribution to global net zero emissions by or around mid-century, in line with the best available science and aligned with their NDCs taking into account different national circumstances.