The 27th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties is at its halfway mark. Despite some positive steps having been made, progress during negotiations is continuing at a slow and disappointing pace according to CARE International.
Loss and Damage
After a long and hard fight led by vulnerable countries and civil society organizations, Loss and Damage finance made it for the first time on a COP27 agenda. It is worth noting that developed countries have ensured that this new agenda item excludes any possibility for vulnerable countries to request compensation on a legal basis, for the loss and damage they are and will be suffering from.
Fanny Petitbon, Advocacy Manager at CARE France said: "Now that we have a foot in the door, we must smash it open and secure a decision from parties at COP27 to establish a Loss and Damage finance facility. COP27 should deliver critical support for populations, especially women and girls in the global South, who bear the brunt of climate impacts.
It is clearly a step in the right direction that a few governments made pledges this week to fund loss and damage, including through the G7-led initiative called the Global Shield (see CARE’s reactive statement). Unfortunately, for all of them - apart from Austria - this is not new and additional money. Governments are redirecting public money initially allocated for emissions reduction and adaptation toward loss and damage, which is unfortunate.
Loss and damage finance should come on top of existing climate finance, come from public sources, and be allocated in the form of grants. We hope that the governments which demonstrated their readiness to fund loss and damage will now fully support the creation of a loss and damage facility. We cannot end this COP27 with just a decision on process of dialogues and workshops. The time for endless talking is over. It is a matter of climate justice and urgency.”
Time is becoming of the essence for parties to make progress on the adaptation agenda. Negotiations on adaptation are centered around the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), National Adaptation Plans, adaptation finance and the Report of the Adaptation Committee. While we are seeing some headway on some of these agenda items, little progress has been made on National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) due to push–back by developed countries on enhancing financial support for the formulation and implementation of NAPs.
Obed Koringo, Climate Policy Adviser with CARE Denmark said: "While developing countries are calling for scaling of financial support for the formulation and effective implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), developed countries on the other hand are stalling the progress on this agenda item by proposing an alternative watered-down language which clearly shows lack of responsibility on their side. So far, no substantive progress has been made on this agenda item because of the push and pull on the finance aspect.
It is therefore important that COP27 adopts a decision that calls for enhanced, flexible, easily accessible, and new and additional finance to accelerate the formulation and full implementation of NAPs by developing countries. In addition, we expect that parties will come up with a delivery plan for the doubling of adaptation finance by 2025 as per the Glasgow Pact.”
In week one, parties reviewed progress on the implementation of activities in the Gender Action Plan (GAP) of the enhanced Lima Work Program on Gender. To make further progress in the GAP implementation, parties must give much greater priority to its process and activities, with capacity, funding, and increased commitment at the national level.
Rosa Van Driel, Advocacy Officer at CARE Netherlands said: "The text has some general remarks, however, real transformational progress is lacking. Parties spend hours on process fights and finance discussions. Women and girls are the hardest hit by climate change, exacerbating existing gender inequalities and threatening their livelihoods, health, and security. A coherent and proactive approach to gender-just climate action cannot be delayed or neglected.
Although negotiations on the GAP are over, CARE calls on all countries to fully engage in emphasizing gender-transformative climate action and decision-making throughout the different negotiations still taking place at COP27. This can be done by promoting women’s and girls’ leadership and participation in the negotiating rooms.
Climate finance for mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage needs to be gender-transformative and reach grassroots and indigenous women and women-led and women’s rights organizations involved in climate action.”
Negotiations at COP27 are hampered by rich countries not meeting their financial obligations. They should provide 100 billion USD a year in new and additional finance for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries.
John Nordbo, Senior Advocacy Adviser, Climate at CARE Denmark said: “The lack of delivery creates distrust, and the logical consequence would be to establish a clear plan for delivery, and to ensure that the shortfall in terms of climate finance will be provided in the coming years - unfortunately, there is no such thing in sight. Rich countries only repeat that they expect to meet the 100 billion target next year.”
On the agenda of COP27 are negotiations on a new goal for climate finance, to succeed the 100 billion from 2026. The negotiations are supposed to be finalized in 2024, but developing countries argue that COP27 should lead to an ‘early harvest’ – initial agreement on a set of basic elements in the new goal. They argue that the goal should have separate subgoals for mitigation, adaptation, and loss & damage finance. Rich countries merely want a decision about what topics to discuss at the next meetings about the new finance goal.
"Rich countries could definitely be more constructive. There is a need to agree on the scope and time frame for the new finance goal before negotiating the amount of finance to be provided. They even resist agreeing on a definition of climate finance, thereby making it possible to count whatever they want as climate finance,” added John Nordbo.
The first two days of the conference saw various announcements by Heads of States and Governments Segments on mitigation partnerships and actions. COP26 mandated countries to work out a work programme to scale up mitigation for 2030 as there is a big gap between the 1.5°C limit and the policies that are on the table. This must be adopted at COP27.
Sven Harmeling, CARE Climate Justice Global Policy Lead said, "The discussions during the first week progressed very slowly, with key divergences remaining between a large group of countries asking for the work program to go through to 2030, while a few bigger emerging economies only see this to go for one year, which would be a bad option.
An extensive list of 50 potential thematic elements is part of the latest negotiation text, which however looks unmanageable. Key areas that COP26 already indicated are to phase-down coal use, phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and some other areas. COP27 must ensure this is driven further. Also, financial support for mitigation and shifting financial flows away from fossil fuels need to be key elements. An ambitious mitigation work program is a critical element of any COP27 outcome to deliver credible progress towards the 1.5°C limit and the move away from fossil fuels.”
For media requests, please contact Walter Mawere, Global Communications Lead for CARE Climate Justice Center, [email protected].