The most recent United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP 27, received mixed opinions. A Loss and Damage fund was established to support developing countries to pay for climate disasters. Critics point out that the biggest polluters would be entitled to this fund.
Scientists, such as Roger Highfield were disappointed to see no commitment to emission targets, set at the Paris climate agreement. At this rate, the planet’s average temperature will rise above 1.5 C, the maximum temperature rise we can sustain without damaging consequences, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change .
Delegates at the UNFCCC agreed that developing nations should not be left to pay for climate disasters caused by historic CO2 emissions. Rich countries will contribute to a global recovery fund for poor countries disproportionately affected by climate disasters.
According to Loss and Damage Collaboration, a climate policy group, since 1991, 79% of all deaths by extreme weather events were in developing countries. In the same report, they estimated that by 2030, developing nations will have lost up to $580 billion dollars from climate change.
The Copenhagen climate summit pledged $100 billion a year for a loss and damage fund in 2009, but the money never materialised. In COP 26, creating a Loss and Damage Finance Facility was shot down in favour of the Glasgow Dialogue, a similar program of funding the reconstruction of disaster zones with no mandatory commitment.
The latest IPCC on climate change has painted a grim picture for the planet, at the current rate of emissions. Extreme weather events have increased in frequency, with catastrophic flooding in Pakistan prompting a hesitant European Union to give conditional support to a Loss and Damage fund.
The United States and EU are critical of the current rules that define which nations are entitled to the fund. China would receive money as it is classified by the UNFCCC as a developing country among other oil-producing countries, despite being the single biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.
Whether the Loss and Damage program will work out depends on cooperation between China and nations of the developed world. It will also depend on the attitude of inflation-burdened citizens in the developed world.
Mia Motely, President of Barbados, believes funding can go further than mere pledges. She wants to allow multinational development banks to take out riskier loans for funding the needs of developing nations.
Rocky Mountain Institute, a non-profit organisation, stated: “it would be possible to increase current loans from $25 billion to $140 billion, possibly generating $270 billion from private sources.”
RMI also added: “the best way to support the developing world with climate disasters is through prevention. The more spent on renewable energy today, the less will be needed for disaster relief.”.
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