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COP27 step towards climate justice, but much more needed, says EU

22 November 2022, 18:53 CET
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COP27 step towards climate justice, but much more needed, says EU

Ursula von der Leyen - Photo © European Union 2022

(SHARM EL SHEIK) - The UN Climate Summit ended Sunday with a positive agreement on a fund to address the impacts of climate change bringing justice to developing countries particularly vulnerable to climate change.

The loss and damage fund agreed by the participating countries, a request that dates back to even before the creation of the UNFCCC, was welcomed by the European Union as a crucial step forward, "because there can be no lasting action against climate The EU is the world's leading contributor of international climate finance, she said, and it has "confirmed our commitment to support the most vulnerable on our planet through a first contribution on loss and damage."

Key details remain to be discussed in the work of the 'transitional committee' setting the rules on the loss and damage response fund, however, so that the most vulnerable are eligible for these funds, the biggest polluters pay for them, and the funds are sufficiently fed with new and additional grants finance.

"This particularly challenging COP brings one piece of hope, especially for the most vulnerable people, with an agreement to set up a Loss and Damage fund," said Chiara Martinelli, Director of environmental group CAN Europe.

There were also some good words for the EU's stance: "The EU has to continue to raise its ambition on emissions reductions, support a just transition out of fossil fuels, deliver on climate finance and unravel the details of the new loss and damage fund to help to make it operational as soon as possible. This winning combo is, at this stage, the only way out of the climate crisis and the EU should be taking a leading role," she said.

Mitigation and loss and damage are inherently intertwined, adds CAN Europe, and "there won't be enough money to deal with the devastation that climate change causes and we risk loss and damage funds going down the drain unless Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are drastically enhanced to stop increasing temperatures."

The EU, who has played a relevant role in pushing for keeping the 1.5°C limit alive, announced in the COP its readiness to update its NDC from 55% to 57%, however CAN Europe says this is far from what's needed to manage to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 by 2030. CAN Europe is asking the EU to reduce emissions by at least 65%, carbon sinks aside, and the COP27 decisions reiterate the call for countries to update their NDCs in line with the 1.5°C limit.

Having played a key role in Egypt in keeping the 1.5 alive in COP decisions, the EU and Member States now have to follow "by reducing emissions at least by 65% by 2030 to contribute to achieving the Paris Agreement in an equitable manner and stop adding on to the climate crisis", said Sven Harmeling, International Climate Policy Expert at CAN Europe.

It was widely acknowledged that little progress was made at COP27 on tackling the biggest challenge, that is, the phasing out of all fossil fuels.

"COP27 has kept alive the goal of 1.5C," said Ms von der Leyen. "Unfortunately however, it has not delivered on a commitment by the world's major emitters to phase down fossil fuels, nor new commitments on climate mitigation. But the EU will stay the course, notably through the European Green Deal and REPowerEU, because it is essential to keep the ambition of the Paris Agreement within reach."

COP27 website

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